The study of the development of fetal breathing movements in human gestation may provide an increased understanding of maturation of the functional central nervous system (CNS). In seven term pregnancies low maternal blood alcohol levels suppressed fetal breathing movements. No effects on fetal oxygenation or acid-base status were demonstrated at the low blood alcohol level. The suppression is therefore most consistent with a direct effect of alcohol on the fetal CNS. This investigation provides further support of the thesis that fetal breathing movements reffect some components of fetal CNS activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology