Yes. much as we adults do, says a West German study at Heidelberg University. Only, they cannot assess pain and communicate it.
So far, the medical profession had maintained that
infant do not have a fully developed
nervous system and are therefore
unable to sense much pain. Not surprisingly, a 1988 study conducted in the United States showed that only 6.7% of infants who were subjected to lumber or morrow punctures were given pain killers. The rest only got sedatives.
Animal experiments and observations of babies have recently revealed that the
psychological mechanics of pain perception is fully operational immediately after birth. The Heidelberg scientists studied reflexes typically connected with the experience of pain before coming to this conclusion. Their advise to paediatricians: if surgery is performed even an new borns, sufficient pain-suppression measures are required.