I am not a doctor.

Nor am I probably the best person to call upon if you need open heart surgery.

However I do know the basic rudiments of biology.

In fact I do know enough to be more than a little surprised when I read the following startling headline –

One glass of wine can stop foetus breathing, study claims

You see, I do know for a fact that a foetus doesn't breathe.  And if it doesn't breathe, then how does anyone or anything stop it breathing?

A foetus is completely immersed in amniotic fluid, and if it was relying on breathing for its oxygen it would instantly drown.  It gets its oxygen from the mother's breathing which provides her blood with oxygen which is then transferred to the foetus via the umbilical cord.  If mummy stops breathing then foetus is fucked, but unless the umbilical cord detaches then foetus is fine.

Granted a foetus goes through the motions of breathing, twitching the diaphragm, just as it twitches all the other muscles.  That's just a reflex action and a touch of exercise in practice for the final plunge into the Great Outside.  If a foetus stops twitching for a while then it's probably resting.  Nothing wrong with that.

But the good professor doesn't seem to know all that.  He seems to think that if a foetus stops exercising its diaphragm it will die, or that is what he is implying.

Maybe what he has discovered is that a glass of wine relaxes mummy, and that in turn this relaxes baby? 

That sounds like a good thing?

Maybe he meant to say

One glass of wine can relax foetus, study claims

Yes.  That must be it.

We all make mistakes.

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A simple mistake — 14 Comments

  1. They must have courses in stupidity in some university somewhere or perhaps in all universities there is a department of stupidity either way there is no shortage of alumni.

    • Nah!  Just someone jumping onto the Anti-Alcohol bandwagon.  What's the betting that "further research is needed"?  😉

  2. I raise my evening glass of white wine to your apt correction of that newspaper headline Grandad. On a technical point you note that a fetus in the womb doesn't breathe. But can it utter a happy sound approximating a burp of approval after mother has sipped a glass of red wine? Are olives and vol-au-vent snacks acceptable accompaniments to the wine tasting? I would welcome positive new research findings on this.

  3. That's in the same league as the recent ultrasound pics of a foetus  supposedly covering its nose when the mother smoked a ciggy. Message being, of course, "smoking when pregnant kills your baby, and he doesn't like it. See? Look at the pics and it's obvious".

    Do they really think we are that ignorant and naive? I really feel insulted that they disseminate this garbage and actually expect me to take it seriously. They are like children who haven't yet worked out that adults can see through their fantasies.

    • You mean these pictures?  😉

      Those articles are for those who can't read beyond a headline and who have an attention span measured in picoseconds.  They believe everything they read, because if it's in the paper [and written by a professor] it has to be true.

  4. Did you ever notice that articles such as the one you reference in your post, never allow comments? Kind of says it all right there doesn't it?

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