Have you ever wondered what babies feel when they are born?
Although science is still looking for answers, let’s look at the theories we already have available.
What Do Babies Feel When They Are Born?
A glimpse of light, blurred images and then a desperate cry that fills the lungs with air.
We imagine the birth of a newborn more or less like this – also thanks to the many films and stories that have tried to tell childbirth from the point of view of the unborn child.
But what do we really know about the feelings experienced by a child when born?
We certainly know that it is a rather traumatic experience, with a sudden environmental upheaval and many bodily functions that must suddenly adapt to a whole new world.
However, science is still looking for answers regarding what babies feel when they are born.
Do Babies Feel Pain During Birth?
Childbirth is a notoriously painful moment for the mother.
At the same time, the baby sees themselves “ripped” from that warm and comfortable place that is the uterus.
During vaginal delivery, the baby is even forced through a passage much narrower than them. But is this actually a painful phase?
The reality is that scientists do not yet have certain answers to this question, although many clues suggest that yes, the baby ends up experiencing physical pain during labor.
“If you performed a medical procedure on a baby shortly after birth, she would certainly feel pain,” says Christopher E. Colby, director of the neonatology department of the non-profit organization Mayo Clinic in Rochester, explained in an interview with the Parents website – So it may be that a baby feels pain even when it goes through the birth canal. “
Of course, it is not even possible to quantify the type of pain and its extent, but it certainly does not have to be particularly pleasant.
Is The Baby Awake During Labor?
Inside the womb, a baby sleeps about 95% of the time, with a very unbalanced sleep-wake cycle.
However, at the time of delivery, a baby’s heart begins to accelerate.
It is not unusual for the baby to kick and move their arms even during the decisive moment of extraction from the mother’s body.
We therefore assume that the baby is actually awake during birth.
Still, some studies suggest instead that in this phase, newborns could remain in a sleep state until the moments immediately preceding their coming into the world.
How Babies Feel During Natural Birth vs Caesarean
Since this is a physically different experience, surely the perceptions of labor will also be different.
In fact, a baby born following a cesarean section will not suffer the hustle and bustle of passing through the birth canal however the absence of contractions, which help the baby to expel some amniotic fluid from the lungs, often leads to experiencing faster and more difficult breathing in the hours immediately following birth.
Fortunately, however, this is an absolutely transitory phase.
What Else Do Babies Feel During Birth?
It is highly probable that the unborn child perceives the contractions that are “pushing” him out of the uterus (after all, it is ascertained that the fetus feels the external touch perfectly even when it is in the belly), so it is possible, as already explained, that it may feel pain.
Once born, the baby then undergoes a whirlwind of sensations that represent a real shock.
In fact, after the slap of the midwife, the air begins to pass through the baby’s lungs for the first time (in the uterus, it was the mother who passed the oxygen to him), and the perceived temperature is much lower than what he was used to.
No wonder then that the baby is crying in despair!
After a few minutes, the child gets tired and begins to open his eyes and see what surrounds him in a slightly blurred way. At this point, the first “external” contact with the maternal body usually takes place, the first great opportunity to establish a special bond.
Immediately after, however, hunger ensues– being born is tiring and makes you hungry – so the baby instinctively looks for the breast.
After the first feed, it’s finally time for a nice restorative nap.
The great adventure called life can finally begin.