How do foetuses breathe in the womb?


AS HUMANS, breathing is essential for our wellbeing and without breathing, we can
die. Most importantly, developing babies need oxygen during the early phase of
But a baby would not take its first breath until after birth. This means that babies do not truly breathe in the womb. Instead, babies rely on their mother’s breathing to receive oxygen to their developing organs.
Lung development begins early in pregnancy but is not complete until the third trimester. Between 24th-36thweek of pregnancy, the lungs begin developing alveoli – the tiny lung sacs that fill with oxygen. Until these sacs are fully developed, a baby cannot breathe on its own outside of the womb. The placenta and umbilical cord are organs that enable a developing baby to get everything it needs from its mother and this includes oxygen.
Every breath that the mother takes brings oxygen into her bloodstream. The placenta carries oxygen to the umbilical cord and then to the baby.