The joyous moment for any mother is to hear the baby’s first cry. But why do babies cry at birth? Is it because they don’t want to leave their mother’s womb? Or does the temperature of the outer world bothers the baby? There is an amazing reason behind why babies cry when born, and in fact, it is very critical. Find out why a baby must cry at birth, and its significance.
Why baby’s cry during birth is significant?
Have you seen doctors holding the baby and patting the butt when they don’t cry soon after birth in olden day movies? You can note that the first cry is a bit feeble and gets stronger in due course. This is because the baby starts breathing soon after birth.
- The baby until birth breathes in utero through the placenta. The lungs are not used for breathing. Inside the womb, the sac is filled with amniotic fluid.
- The lungs are formed only at the later stage in the womb. The necessary oxygen for the baby’s development is supplied through the placenta.
- During the birth, the chest area compresses the vaginal canal, and this lets to the squeezing of the fluid from the lungs. This can be compared with the wet sponge squeezed off.
- When they are born, the baby starts breathing with the lungs for the first time.
- When they cry the fluid is forced out of the lungs.
This is the reason why doctors wait to see if there are several cries from the baby. It is critical for the initial minutes. The cry is the effort to push off all the fluid collected in the lungs by the baby.
Pro Tip: In a few cases, the baby might not start crying immediately. There are several ways the medical team can ensure the baby takes the first breath.
What do doctors do if the baby does not cry?
The slapping on the butt is the old school method, and not many doctors follow this now. The baby is slapped on the butt, it irritates the baby to cry, triggering them to breathe. There are other modern techniques nowadays to clear the obstruction in the path of respiration.
- A suction pump is used to trigger crying when the baby does not cry soon after birth. This is because most of the obstructions are in the nose or mouth. The residues are cleared off with the suction pump. It is used on even the babies that have cried after birth enough to show signs of ability to breathe.
- Doctors also rub a towel against the baby’s skin. The delicate skin of the baby, especially if the newborn cannot withstand the coarse texture of the towel. The baby starts crying due to the irritation caused by the rough towel.
Can crying be delayed for a newborn by doctors?
A few babies need external help to start crying as aforementioned. In certain cases, the delivery team delays the crying deliberately.
- In a few cases, the babies pass poop just before being born in the womb, or during delivery. This is called meconium.
- When the babies cry after passing meconium, they can inhale the poop. This is dangerous as it can cause respiratory issues. This can lead to pneumonia, which is hazardous for the newborn.
- An endotracheal tube is inserted into the windpipe of the baby to remove the inhaled poop. This stimulates the baby to cry.
- To avoid inhaling meconium, the doctors and delivery teamwork on cleaning the poop first then focused on letting the baby cry. They do not let the baby take the first birth, as inhaling poop is on the cards.
Crying makes the baby turn pink, and it is a sign of life. Luckily, the medical world today has all the necessary equipment to ensure that babies that do not cry to take their first breath get medical attention, and stay healthy.