Sadly, we can’t remember any of it. A mom may remember her pregnancy, but have you ever wondered what it felt like for us? What was going on in our little baby brains at the time? Did we enjoy the process of our freedom from our mother’s womb?
Rachel Lewis breaks it down for us in this article for The National.
While Mom is busy going about her daily business, the baby decides that it’s time to come out and experience the world. So it starts pressing into the birth canal, dilating the cervix.
Meanwhile, Mom begins feeling the first wave of contractions, each 20 minutes apart. While she’s yelling at Dad to get the car, and for goodness sake forget about posting this on Facebook, she’s also releasing oxytocin. The hormone calms the baby until they’re ready to be born.
2. During labor
As Mom’s contractions become more powerful, the baby might feel its surroundings becoming cramped and oxygen from Mom’s placenta become scarcer. But this is nothing to worry about, as babies can sleep through the contractions.
If Mom decides to use opiate drugs as a pain reliever, she and the baby can both feel drowsy. Un-medicated babies tend to be alert and hungry after birth. Relaxing during labor is imperative for the Mom, because if she’s stressed, the baby will be, too.
3. First stage
As time between Mom’s contractions become shorter, her cervix is slowly dilating even more. Meanwhile, the walls around the baby are slowly getting smaller, but it feels no pain. There’s even less oxygen than before, which is why mom is encouraged to breathe despite the pain.
4. Second stage
Mom is now trying to push the baby out of the birth canal (the best way to do this is while reclining, in a pool, or on all fours). Since the baby’s skull isn’t fixed yet, it can mold into the shape of the birth canal as it’s moving along. Dr. Anne Deans says that babies are physiologically prepared for this. Posterior, transverse, and breech babies take longer to move through the birth canal because they weren’t in an ideal position.
As the baby finally pushes through the birth canal, it might feel an initial shock. According to Dr. Deans, babies born in calm and dimly lit rooms tend to be calmer. Once the burning sensation has passed, mom can finally hold her little one.
“This will calm your baby down, help to regulate his heart and respiratory rate, keep him warm, and start the hormonal process for breastfeeding,” said Dru Campbell, a senior midwife atHealth Bay Polyclinic in Dubai.
And there it is: the miracle of life! Do you remember it? Would you want to?