When your little one first makes an appearance to the world, all the attention is focused on the entrance. All you want to do is meet and embrace your baby, but both you and your doctor are looking for signs of healthy working lungs too, waiting in anticipation for your baby’s first cry.
Under normal circumstances, newborn babies cry merely a few seconds after being born. Hearing this throaty scream for the first time will be like music to ears, bringing home the fact that you have given birth to a healthy little bundle.
But what is so important about your baby’s first cry?
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The significance of baby’s first cry
It is really simple – a good cry lets baby test out their lungs for the very first time. In actual fact, babies “practice” the motion of crying before birth, as if they instinctively know that this will cause their lungs to expand.
Before your little one is born, it takes in oxygen through the placenta via the umbilical cord, but the moment the baby leaves the womb, it’s on its own, so to speak. Natural instinct kicks in; we must breathe or we will die. So your baby does the only thing it can; it gives a good scream. The lungs will fill up with air and for the very first time expand to their full capacity.
In fact, your baby’s first cry acts as a kick-starter for their little lungs, as it helps them to get rid of any amniotic residue in the lungs and nasal passages. The act of crying will aid in getting rid of any excess fluid that may still be in the lungs, nose or mouth. This is why, shortly after your birth, doctors will evaluate your little one’s ability to adapt to life outside the uterus. And just sometimes, your little one might need some encouragement to cry. Remember, your baby’s first cry is synonymous with breathing.
What do doctors do to encourage your baby’s first cry?
Find out what a doctor might do to encourage your baby to cry on the next page…