We’ve long known that a mammal’s lungs are the last organ to develop inutero before it is baby’s time to exit. Disrupting this normal process (and initiating/inducing labor to start before a baby triggers labor on his/her own) frequently causes a cascade of complications – from difficulty in latch, poor breathing, increased infection, decreased immunity, under development, failure to thrive, and an increase in SIDS.
Now, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas researchers have found that it is in fact the fetal lungs themselves which provide the signal to initiate labor.
Drs. Carole Mendelson, Jennifer Condon and Pancharatnam Jeyasuria published findings that a substance secreted by the lungs of a developing fetus contains the key signal that initiates labor.