It’s such a simple question, yet it’s totally reasonable to wonder: How do babies breathe in your stomach? Or, is your baby breathing in your pregnant belly? The answer is: No — at least not like you think he is.
When the baby is inside of the womb, his lungs are filled with amniotic fluid. This amniotic fluid is what helps develop lungs. During the third trimester, there may be times when your baby looks like he is breathing, but this is “practice baby breathing”.
How do babies breathe in your stomach: Prenatal baby breathing
While your baby is in your stomach he receives all their nutrients through the nutrients through the umbilical cord umbilical cord, which includes oxygen and food. There may be times when it looks like your baby is actually breathing, and he may be — but just not the same way we do. It’s really just the amniotic fluid that it’s going in and out of his little lungs.
Getting ready for birth
Once the baby gets to the 24th thru 28th week, your body makes some drastic changes in getting ready for birth. The amniotic fluid starts to produce a substance called surfactant, which is commonly referred to as lung detergent. The surfactant will coat the lungs and keep the air sacs open. If your baby does not get enough of surfactant, his lungs can collapse when he is born.
Consequences of RDS
RDS, also known as Respiratory Distress Syndrome, is caused when a baby’s lungs collapse at birth, which as mentioned, is normally caused by a low amount of surfactant in the last few months of pregnancy. There are many other things that can cause RDS, including some infections and congenital conditions.
There has been major advancements since the 1950’s in the research of this replacement. Scientists have developed an artificial surfactant to help revert the effects of RDS and have been very successful in keeping the death toll from this disease down.
Many parents notice what looks to be like breathing from their stomach. It is confusing how a woman’s body works when she is pregnant. Experts, to this day, can not explain every little detail; it is just one of the miracles of life that can still surprise parents!
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