How Do Babies Breathe in the Womb?

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While still in the womb, the baby will be surrounded by amniotic fluid. In fact, humans breathe air. So, has this ever made Mom and Dad wonder, how does a baby breathe in the womb? So that you are no longer curious, come on, read the complete explanation about how babies breathe in the womb below.

How a baby breathes in the womb

In fact, babies in the womb do not breathe using their lungs. This is because their lungs will only develop around 28 to 37 weeks of gestation.

In the womb, the baby breathes through the placenta and umbilical cord. The way a baby breathes in the womb is known as fetal breathing movements (fetal breathing movement) and starts at 10 weeks of pregnancy.

Every time the mother breathes, oxygen molecules that have entered the blood will be absorbed by the placenta. The placenta will then pass it on through the baby’s umbilical cord. Likewise when exhaling.

Even though at 37 weeks of pregnancy the baby’s lungs are fully developed, the baby will continue to breathe with the help of the placenta until he is born. This is because while in the womb, the baby’s lungs are still filled with amniotic fluid.

It is only about 10 seconds after birth that the baby will begin to breathe its own oxygen for the first time.

Later, the fetus’ lungs will begin to absorb and expel fluid to make room for oxygen to enter as soon as the baby is born.

Stages of the baby’s respiratory movements in the womb

At 10-12 weeks of pregnancy, babies begin to do breathing exercises. However, this exercise only refills the lungs with amniotic fluid.

It is likely that the new baby will be able to breathe starting around the 20th week of pregnancy. This breathing movement does not occur continuously. This means that he can survive for several hours without breathing at all.

At 24 weeks to 28 weeks of gestation, breathing exercises occur about 10% to 20% more. This movement will increase again to 30% to 40% after week 30.

When should you see a doctor?

There are no definite signs or characteristics whether the way a baby breathes in the womb will be felt by the mother.

When the baby is still moving as usual, it means he can still breathe and get enough oxygen.

For example, kicking the mother’s stomach, elbowing, feeling spinning, or hiccuping.

However, try to pay attention again when the mother feels that there is abnormal fetal movement, such as the baby moving less than usual or not feeling any movement at all for some time.

If there is interference with the placenta or umbilical cord, the baby will have difficulty breathing. This can result in birth defects, brain injury, or even fetal death.

Go to the hospital immediately to check the baby’s breathing, movement and heartbeat.