The breathing of a pregnant woman also affects the baby

The breathing of a pregnant woman also affects the baby

The hearts of pregnant women and their unborn children sometimes beat synchronously. This behavior is largely determined by the mother’s breathing rhythm. You can find out here what effects this can have on the development of the baby.

The baby’s heartbeat adjusts to the mother’s breathing. This is what scientists from the Grönemeyer Institute for Microtherapy and the Chair for Radiology and Microtherapy at the University of Witten/Herdecke, headed by Peter van Leeuwen and Dietrich Grönemeyer, have discovered in a new study.

Pregnant women often report that they feel a special relationship with their unborn children . The reason for this connection could be partly due to the synchronization of the heartbeat. The research team reports that the unison is significantly influenced by the mother’s breathing rhythm. “The results of the study indicate that the fetus is able to sense its mother’s heartbeat and adapt its heartbeat to it. For the first time, it has been possible to document the close physical, possibly even emotional interaction between mother and child at such an early stage in the womb,”


Faster breathing affects the baby more

The subjects followed a specified breathing rhythm of 10, 12, 15 and 20 breaths per minute for five minutes each. As the researchers now report, the synchronization epochs of the heartbeat of mother and unborn child occur much more frequently when the mother follows a fast breathing rhythm. The baby then matches its heartbeat to that of the mother.

With slow breathing, on the other hand, the interaction seems to be different. Then the synchronous behavior no longer consists of the same heart rhythm (one to one), but a fixed ratio of the child’s heart rate to the mother’s heart rate of, for example, three to two or four to three. It is scientifically proven that the cardiovascular systems of mother and child influence each other and how this happens.

For the study, six 34- to 40-week pregnant women were examined with a magnetocardiograph. The scientists were able to develop an algorithm that can identify synchronous behavior in measurement data. Thanks to this mathematical approach, the interaction of the hearts can be interpreted as an interaction. “This can provide information about the prenatal development of the cardiovascular and nervous systems of the unborn. We may even be able to detect diseases of the unborn child at an early stage in this way,” says Peter van Leeuwen.


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