Baby's first cry: the manifestation of great stress

Baby’s first cry: the manifestation of great stress

When the baby comes out of his mother’s womb, it moves from an almost silent environment, where it’s hot, a felt world without aggressive lights, to the outside world noisy, blinding and much colder. This coming into the world therefore involves the transition from a comfortable environment to an uncomfortable environment and causes great stress in the infant. It’s the same stress that will make the baby want to take a deep breath, the very first of his life, filling his lungs with air. That’s when he screams.

Some healthcare professionals say this inflammation of air into the baby’s lungs causes a burn in the infant and that this pain that would cause her cry. But for doctor Dominique Leyronnas, neonatalologist pediatrician, this theory is very questionable. Rather than a cry of pain, the cry would simply be the manifestation of stress and surprise related to its arrival into the world. It’s for him to regain the comfort and warmth that he just left when he came out of his mother’s womb, that midwives put the baby on his mom’s chest. Skin to skin comforts the baby and it is also a totally natural gesture that is found in animals, who from birth take refuge against their mother.

Baby’s first cry can be a sign of energy. However, it is not essential to let him cry and it is better to bring him comfort immediately.

What not to believe

We tend to think all babies scream at birth and a baby who doesn’t scream is a baby who has a problem. But it is not. Not all infants are born screaming and it’s nothing alarming. There will necessarily be a voice protest at the birth of the baby, but not necessarily a violent cry and not necessarily just yet. As we explained earlier, the cry is the manifestation of great stress and the baby’s reaction to the discomfort of the outside world in which he is brutally immersed. So a baby who doesn’t scream is simply a baby who quickly adapted to this new environment.

Dr. Dominique Leyronnas also explains that some babies are hesitating before screaming when they are born. The transition to breathing function can therefore take up to 10 minutes before giving way to a voice manifestation. Above all, give the baby time to make this transition without hustling him.

In this regard, the caption that the doctor or the midwife has to spank the baby when he is born is, as his name suggests: a legend. Rather than brutalizing the baby, we must reassure him, encourage him. When the birth has been laborious and the baby is tired, Dr. Dominique Leyronnas and her team have used caresses when they wipe the baby or massage at the hands and feet where the reflex points are located, but never at one brutal gesture.