Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

No subsequent event in the life of man is more dramatic or more essential to survival than the prompt initiation at birth of co-ordinated respiratory movements leading to adequate gas exchange. For many years interest was focused on this 'first breath', but it is now generally accepted that breathing movements normally occur in utero for a considerable period before birth. Although these movements contribute nothing towards gas exchange, they are important for normal pulmonary development and there is evidence that their presence is an indication of fetal well-being.

Original publication




Journal article


Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology

Publication Date





229 - 233