First Baby Cry: All you need to know

First Baby Cry: All you need to know

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for . it can bring a rush of emotions and excitement to hear your baby’s first cry. But did you know it could be an indication of her health and well-being as well? Let’s look at the meaning of  first baby cry.

The Baby First Cry

Your baby should normally cry as soon as she is born. This heartfelt cry wakes up her lungs and helps her to breathe. And the cry of your baby even contributes to her very first test. Apgar is a one-minute and five-minute test given to babies after birth. The test tells you at one minute how well the baby went through the process of birth and at five minutes. It tells you how well she is doing out of the womb of the mother in the world. During the test, the color, breathing effort, heart rate, reflexes, and muscle tone of the baby are observed and scored on a scale of zero to two. So a baby can get a maximum total score of ten. A score between seven and ten is normal at one minute, while a score between four and six means your baby may need some breathing assistance. And a score below four may require life-saving measures. A score below  at five minutes may mean the baby needs to be monitored.

Why Does A Baby Cry When She’s Born?

Imagine being snug in a warm, dark, comfortable place and then turning into a strange, cold, bright, world suddenly, you might feel like having a good cry too. Researchers theorize that the first cry of your baby could begin with cold, light, pain, and noise. Gravity was also involved because the baby could be pushed out of the relative weightlessness of floating in amniotic fluid in the womb to feel her full weight in the world.

But could there be a deeper physiological reason behind the first cry of your baby as well? Let’s look at what happens when your baby is weeping for the first time and how it can help her breathe. She takes oxygen from the placenta through the umbilical cord before your baby is born, but as soon as she leaves the womb she has to breathe alone. A strong cry is spreading and filling her tiny lungs. It also gets rid of any remaining breathing obstructing amniotic fluid. The process of passing through the birth canal usually squeezes out amniotic fluid from the lungs. But this is the first cry that removes any residue left behind in the lungs, mouth, or nose.

What Does Your Baby’s Cry Mean?

We all know that when a baby cries it could mean that she’s hungry or tired but your baby’s cry can also provide a clue to many other aspects of her well being.

It’s A Health Signal

  • The pitch of a cry is controlled by the brain stem and cranial nerves running from the brain stem to the larynx-linked muscles. So it can provide you with information about the baby’s nervous system. Experts even feel that factors such as birth injuries and prenatal exposure to alcohol can influence a baby’s cry.
  • Babies with the genetic disorder known as Cri du chat have a distinctive high-pitched cry. Researchers who studied the cry of six-month-old infants found that those at risk of autism had atypical cry. Those at risk, with a more variable frequency, were found to have higher pitched cries.
  • Sometimes telling when babies are in pain can be challenging, but paying attention to a baby’s crying can be helpful because crying related to non-pain may differ from crying related to pain. Pain screams usually pause a little longer between the first and second screams.
  • The first utterance also tends to be louder and longer (around 4 to 5 seconds or more than the usual 2 or 3 seconds). One study that looked at baby screams between 37 weeks and 42 weeks found that those born by cesarean were more likely to have a flat melody type scream. while those with a vaginal delivery showed complex modulation in their screams.


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