It penetrates less than a needle for an IV. I am unaware of any data that suggests it evokes a stress response, i.e. is painful. The fetal skull changes and tissue swelling would be far more painful and those don’t evoke a response. We do try to use them only when needed.
I think about this often when people drone on about fetal pain. If a fetus fell pain then imagine the hell of 3 days of labor being squished by pelvic bones and battered by contractions?
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