People are always curious to know how the mother is feeling during labor. Is she able to cope with the pain? Does she need any sort of assistance? But no one seems to ask what the baby is feeling as it is attempting to come out of its mother’s womb and into the real world. Have you ever wondered what is going through a baby’s mind as it is about to be born? Well, this article is going to enlighten you about the experience of childbirth from a baby’s point of view.
There are various studies on what a mother feels throughout the term of her pregnancy, at the time of labor, and just before she delivers her child. Everyone seems to discuss the physical and mental states of women who are about to give birth. It is a fascinating topic, indeed.
What a woman feels during childbirth is, by far, one of the most popular topics that pregnant mothers research about. Even more than the actual term of the pregnancy itself! But have you ever paused for a moment to wonder what might be going through the baby’s mind as it is trying to enter the outside world?
Mothers are able to take pain medications such as epidurals to cope with labor contractions (1). However, when it comes to the baby, it is completely on its own. How is it able to cope with the pain as it tries and squeezes its entire body through the mother’s vagina? Did you know that a baby’s skull changes shape at the time of birth to let its head squeeze past the small opening (2)? How does the baby feel during these difficult moments?
What Does The Baby Feel During Labor And Birth?
“Mummy, I Feel Your Contractions.”
That’s right. You are not the only one who feels the contractions during labor. Your little one is well aware that its mother is experiencing contractions. This is reflected in changes in the baby’s heartbeat. As the mother experiences a contraction, the baby’s heartbeat seems to rise. Babies receive a lower amount of oxygen during labor contractions. However, you should not panic since your child is well prepared to deal with these complications. In fact, the baby is able to sleep through the entire birth process.
As the baby passes through the walls of the uterus, there are times when its heart rate seems to drop. During these times, the baby may release meconium to deal with the stress that it is under. Moms shouldn’t feel like they are not helping their babies out. During labor, the mother’s body increases the production of the hormone oxytocin (3). This hormone ensures that your child remains happy and calm throughout the birth process.
To help your child feel calm and safe, you should not get very stressed by the contractions. This is because the child’s emotions are directly connected to the mother’s. You can help calm yourself and your child by thinking about happy thoughts during labor. Imagine yourself in a calm and happy place.
“Just A Bit More!”
Just before your baby’s head is about to crown, you may start to feel some sort of a burning sensation. You should take this as good news since you are very close to the end of your labor. During these moments, your baby is experiencing tight sensations as it prepares itself to take its first breath in the real world. According to Dr. Anne Deans, a senior consultant in the fields of gynecology and obstetrics at Frimley Park Hospital, located in Surrey, England:
“The pressure on your baby’s body as he squeezes through the narrow birth canal is actually helpful in preparing him to live outside the uterus. The compression expels fluid and mucus from his lungs and also prevents him from breathing and inhaling fluid and blood as he passes through the birth canal. This all helps to prepare him to take his first breath.”
It is better to have your baby delivered in a dimly lit, soothing environment. A cold and bright environment might send your baby into shock as this is a total contrast to the environment that it was growing and developing in for the past nine months.
You can help comfort your child at the time of his/her birth by asking to nurse to bring your child to you for immediate skin contact. Doing this ensures that your and your child’s heart rate as well as respiratory rate are stabilized. Furthermore, the baby is able to recognize the mother’s touch, which helps calm the child down and prepare him for his first feeding.
Now that you have a better idea about what your child goes through during labor, you should be able to better ensure his/her comfort throughout the process. At the same time, you can feel relaxed as well knowing that your child is completely safe throughout the birthing process.