How a baby breathes in the womb: features of placental breathing. The role of the umbilical cord in the process of cellular respiration
Not everyone is aware of how the baby breathes in the womb. Some future mummies are very interested in this question, and sometimes it is alarming, therefore, it is better to understand in advance the peculiarities of fetal gas exchange and the role of the placenta and umbilical cord in this process.
Fetal breathing process
Breathing is a process of gas exchange in a living organism, in which carbon dioxide is removed from cells and oxygen is supplied, which is necessary for the full functioning of all body systems.
Therefore, the concept that the child does not breathe, and a pregnant woman breathes for two, is wrong. Since the process of breathing involves not mechanical inhalation and exhalation, but gas exchange in the cells of the body.The fetus begins to breathe even in the womb, but this process has distinctive features from our usual breathing.
Understanding how a baby breathes in the womb is simple enough. This process occurs through the placenta, which not only provides the possibility of respiration, but also is a conductor of nutrients from the mother to the fetus and a means of diverting waste and metabolic processes from the fetus.
In addition to these functions, the placenta also performs the function of a separator that prevents the mixing of maternal blood and lymph with the biological fluids of the fetus.
How a baby breathes in the womb
From the mother’s body, the umbilical cord carries oxygen to the placenta. The products of metabolism and carbon dioxide, which is the product of fetal cellular respiration, move in the opposite direction from the placenta.
Exhaust gas from the blood enters the pulmonary arteries of the mother and is excreted through the respiratory system, and gas exchange occurs in the alveoli of the lungs. This process occurs infinitely, allowing the mother and fetus to be saturated with the necessary oxygen for life.
Knowing how a baby breathes in the womb, one can easily conclude that pregnancy is a heavy burden on the female body, since it literally works for two, providing the developing baby with all the necessary trace elements and vitamins and the necessary oxygen for life.
The role of the umbilical cord in the process of breathing
The body of the mother and child is connected not only by the placenta, but also by the umbilical cord, which is a tight tourniquet consisting of two arteries and one vein. As the child grows, the umbilical cord increases in size, and after birth, its length corresponds to the height of the child.
Through the umbilical cord from the body of the fetus the metabolic products are removed, from the vein in the umbilical cord they enter the mother’s bloodstream and are removed from her body. From the mother through the umbilical cord to the placenta receives nutrients and oxygen. How a baby breathes in the womb can only be understood by understanding the root of this issue and understanding the characteristics of the processes of respiration.
The value of fresh air in the process of breathing
To ensure your body and the body of the baby, pregnant women need to spend a lot of time in the fresh air,since the lack of oxygen can cause not only dizziness and loss of consciousness of the mother, but also hypoxia in the fetus, which negatively affects its development.
Therefore, to understand the importance of fresh air, you need to know how the baby breathes in the womb. Photo of the fetus, which is in the womb, makes this process more intuitive and understandable.
Since the lung tissue of a child matures only at the 34th week, after exposure to it of a special substance - surfactant. If a baby is born prematurely, it is connected to a ventilator until the lung tissue matures in the baby’s body. Modern medicine has learned to synthesize surfactant, allowing for the maturation of the lungs and giving the child the opportunity to breathe independently.
The way a baby breathes in the womb is significantly different from the process of spontaneous breathing, which requires disclosure of the alveoli of the lungs.