Baby’s First Breath
Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have unlocked an amazing observation within baby’s anticipated and celebrated first breath. Breathing in the womb isn’t required, and only happens intermittently:
Baby’s first gasp at birth is a brain activation to support air breathing.
Baby transitions from randomly breathing to life-sustaining through the specific activation of a gene that starts regular breathing for the rest of baby’s life.
This gene makes a peptide neurotransmitter chain of amino acids that relays information between neurons just as baby emerges. When this same chain is interrupted in studies involving mice, sudden death can occur.
Researchers believe this new information may help experts better understand how Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) may occur in infants, leading to the possibility of future treatments or therapies.
To learn more about SIDS, read our article Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
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