Do Babies Breathe in the Womb?
In the sense of inhaling and exhaling, no your baby does not breathe. In fact, his lungs are filled with fluid while in your tummy, so even if he wanted to breathe, he couldn’t. This is also why you should not be alarmed if your baby’s cord is wrapped around his neck at any point during your pregnancy. He does not get his air this way, and the cord will usually unwrap itself shortly. However, that doesn’t mean your baby doesn’t practice breathing. Later on in your pregnancy, you will feel your baby get hiccups, which is just him studiously working on his breathing for preparation of his impending arrival. Your baby’s first real breath is usually heard in the form of a cry at the time of delivery.
How does my baby get the oxygen he needs to thrive?
Even though your baby doesn’t actually breathe, he still needs oxygen to grow and develop and stay alive. He receives this oxygen from your blood. The placenta in your womb is connected to your uterine wall, which is a direct source of blood from your body. This blood is then filtered by the placenta to gather all of the nutrients and oxygen that can be found in it. The umbilical cord then transports your blood directly from the placenta to your baby. When your baby receives the blood, his body will absorb the same nutrients and oxygen, while sending back any waste that his body has produced. This waste will be sent back to your placenta, then back into your blood, and then disposed of by your body. Since your baby’s health relies directly on your blood supply, it is very important that you are aware of the quality of air that you breathe and food that you consume.
What happens to the placenta after my baby is born?
After you deliver your baby, you will then deliver the placenta in the same way. Since the placenta is a lot smaller, it is usually a pretty painless process. You will probably feel a few contractions and then your doctor will remove it. It is usually discarded as medical waste, but you do have the option of retaining it for spiritual or personal reasons. Some people even believe that if you consume it (usually in pill form) it can eliminate the effects of postpartum depression. [Featured Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net]