There is evidence that the embryo can feel from 20 weeks after conception. Imagine how the embryo feels as the moment of birth nears, 16 or so weeks later. She or he has spent nine months inside, inseparable from the mother. Then she or he struggles down the birth canal into the world and becomes a separate human being who is utterly helpless and dependent. Usually as soon as the baby is born, he or she is given to the mother to hold. And babies need to be held.