The Processes Involving The Newborn's Transition From Intrauterine Life

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The processes involving the newborn 's transition from intrauterine life to extrauterine life is both an arduous and delicate balance that illuminates the adaptability of the human body. The physiologic changes that occur involve most major organ systems which include, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and integumentary systems. Additionally, a major challenge associated with this transition is the mechanism of thermoregulation. This transition is aided by a drastic increase in epinephrine and norepinephrine which provides a sufficient boost allowing the fetus to move from intrauterine to extrauterine.
Intrauterine, the fetus has been sheltered by the warmth of amniotic fluid and has been accustomed to a dark environment. Highly oxygenated blood has been flowing from the placenta, through the umbilical vein to the fetus. In the heart, an opening between the left and right atrium called the foramen ovale allow for direct bypass of more than half of the blood flow through the pulmonary circulation and into systemic circulation. This opening is fostered and maintained by higher pressures that exist in the right atrium. Conversely, some blood does enter the pulmonary circuit in order to perfuse tissue and preserve structures, but oxygenation in the intrauterine environment is accomplished by the placenta. Though the lungs are fully developed, the fetus has not yet been responsible for oxygenating blood through the pulmonary circuit and this is a major transition

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