In ten healthy near-term pregnant women the effect of induced maternal emotions on fetal motor behaviour was studied. Emotions were induced by showing a film of a normal delivery. Fetal behaviour was recorded by means of real-time ultrasound observations of general movements and eye movements and by fetal heart rate monitoring. The observations had a duration of 2 h. The data were compared with those obtained during a 2-h control period, which took place the day before (n = 5) or after the study period (n = 5). Maternal emotions (induced) were measured by means of psychological tests. No effects on fetal motor activity or on behavioural state organization could be found as a result of this film. There was, however, a significant positive correlation (P less than 0.01) between the mean level of anxiety of the women and the motor activity of the fetuses.