Ever wonder what birth looks like from the inside out? As in, what does your baby experience as they make the trek from the womb to the world. If you've ever stopped to think about it, it's pretty remarkable to learn what happens to your baby as they're being born. In fact, your baby is instinctively participating in and reacting to the outside world before she's even dipped a tiny toe into it. Overachiever? Nah — baby, she was born that way.
For the duration of pregnancy, you and your baby have been doing everything together, around the clock. And although you'll be doing the majority of the heavy lifting during labor and delivery, your baby is still your teammate. As your little one is being born, she doesn't slack off — she's actually working hard to adapt to life outside the womb. From the moment the delivery process begins, your baby's body is preparing to function on its own. You've done your part for nine months and now it's your baby's turn to be charge. With a helping hand from human biology, these nine things that happen to your baby while they're being born are not only necessary for survival, they're downright impressive.
1. They Help You Out
It turns out that babies aren't just along for the ride during delivery. In fact, before your little one is even out of your body, he's doing his best to give his mama a helping hand. According to Parents magazine, babies move into different positions during labor to find the best position for getting out. They will twist and turn until finding the best fit for travel out of the birth canal.
2. They're Listening In
Even before they're born, your kiddo has their ears tuned in to the sound of your voice. Around 24 weeks, babies ears are fully developed and they start show signs of responding to sounds outside the womb, as the website for What To Expect noted. This means that as they are being born, they are listening in on all the excitement happening around them.
3. They Meet Gravity
Hanging out in the womb is a lot like being an astronaut floating around the moon. That's because the amniotic fluid keeps their body cozy, and allows them to move freely. "Upon birth, the baby momentarily experiences the force of gravitation pushing him or her against the surface or pulling downwards," as Pregnancy.org explained.
4. Their Reflexes Kick In
Ever wonder how babies can be in all that fluid and not choke? It's the magic of the mouthing reflex. According to Today's' Parent, a baby's gag reflex helps prevent choking, which means your little one can expel any residual fluid as she's being born. Babies are born with mouthing reflexes, such as this one and rooting, to meet their need of being fed.
5. They're Looking For Faces
We already know babies can hear what's happening as they're being born, and as they're making their way into the world, it's highly possible they could be looking to match faces with those voices. When it comes to newborns and their people skills, Psychology Today explained that babies, " preferring to look at faces over other things in their environment, and they possess a sophisticated understanding of the minds of others."
6. They Breathe
Up until your baby is born, they have been breathing amniotic fluid and getting an assist from your placenta on oxygen flow. But within 10 seconds of being delivered, babies take their first birth and start breathing oxygen on their own, according to Medline Plus, a website from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
7. Their Liver Changes Gears
While your bun is cooking in your oven, they have an excess of red blood cells, which effects the breakdown of bilirubin. In order to avoid jaundice (which happens when bilirubin doesn't pass through the body fast enough), a baby's liver starts working immediately to help breakdown bilirubin, as Kids Health, a website from Nemours explained.
8. They Take Their First Poop
Although this doesn't happen to every baby, many little ones have a bowel movement during delivery. According to Healthy Children, a website from the American Academy of Pediatrics, meconium is an odorless poop that babies can pass while still in utero. But don't worry — meconium is sterile and your baby will continue to have similar poos for the next few days.
9. They Stay Warm & Toasty
Being suddenly smacked with some cold air after floating around in a cozy 98.6 degrees for nine months would be a shock to anyone's system. But no need to worry, your baby's got this one covered. As Parents explained, as soon as a baby is born, they are able to regulate their body temperature due to the spike in thyroid levels. That elevated thyroid level flips the switch on their body's heat production and protects their body from becoming too cold.