Photo Credit: BabyCentre
Your baby is as small as a ball of cells during the early stages of development and does not yet have any special or definite cells until the fourth week of pregnancy when fetal lung development begins. During the early differentiation stage, cells are separated into multiple layers one of which forms the organs. Lungs evolve from separated cells becoming more efficient and adapting to respiration with time.
Photo Credit: Frontiers blog
Here are the stages of fetal lung development during pregnancy
1 Embryonic Phase
Around four to five weeks after conception, the embryonic phase of fetal lung development begins. Two tiny buds break off at the embryonic stage, one of which produces the right lung and the other the left lung.
2 Pseudo-Glandular Phase
At the 17th week of pregnancy, the pseudo-glandular phase of fetal lung development begins. In the pseudo-glandular phase, the original lung buds branch into smaller and more numerous units and each bud develop into a separate respiratory unit with a bronchiole and several capillary capillaries that feed blood to the lungs for its oxygen needs over time.
3 Canalicular Phase
Around the 25th week of pregnancy, the canalicular phase of fetal lung development begins. During the canalicular phase, a barrier forms between the air and the blood allowing oxygen to flow into respiratory capillaries and carbon dioxide to escape from the lungs' respiratory capillaries. During the canalicular phase, several tissue types grow in the lungs of the fetus differentiating air-carrying tissues from gas-carrying tissues.
4 Saccular Phase
Around the 36th week of pregnancy, the fetus enters the saccular phase of lung development. Surfactant synthesis begins during the saccular phase of lung development. Surfactant is a soapy fluid that keeps lung tissue soft and prevents it from sticking together and causing harm when compressed.
5 Alveolar phase
The alveolar phase, often known as the final phase of fetal lung development, lasts until your child is born, and throughout early infancy. During the alveolar phase, more surfactant synthesis begins making the lungs' gas-carrying tissues grow and become more efficient in transporting air.
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