14 Things You Didn't Know The Baby Feels After Childbirth

What does it feel like for newborns to exit the womb and enter the world for the first time?

The miracle of childbirth, it is an amazing and breathtaking experience. Everyone knows what a mother goes through when she is giving birth for the first time, and the way she feels afterward. The way the mother looks at her newborn baby with awe and with pure unconditional love. A love that she feels flowing through her entire body. Or the way the mother feels when she gently touches her child for the first time or lays eyes on her little one for the first time. The mother is able to verbalize it; she is able to tell everyone exactly what she is thinking and feeling.

But what about the baby? What does the baby feel right after they are born? How do they feel? What sensations are taking over their tiny bodies? Babies are unable to verbalize the things that they are feeling. So, it is hard to fully gauge and understand exactly how a baby feels after they go through the trauma of being brought into this world.

There are so many unanswered questions when it comes to what the baby may or may not feel right after they are born. It takes a lot of time, effort, and research to try to sort through the mounds of information that the world has to offer. So, if anyone is interested in learning about the things that a baby feels after birth, they came to the right place. I’ve compiled a list of a few things that the baby feels shortly after they are born.

14Is There Pain?

It has often been debated on whether or not a baby feels any pain during and after the delivery process. Doctors now know that, yes, babies probably do feel pain during this process. However, what is unknown is how much pain babies feel. There is probably never going to be a way for us to gauge that until babies come out of the womb talking.

One reason a baby could still feel some form of pain after being born would depend on the kind of labor and delivery a mom endured and the circumstances surrounding it. If forceps were used and the baby was bruised, there was a chance the baby could feel pain where it was injured. If a baby was born and there was an issue with shoulder dystocia, there is a good chance the baby may be in a lot of pain. Moms, if the little one got injured during the delivery, make sure to be extra gentle with them.

13The Eyes Opening For The First Time

When a baby is first born and they open their eyes for the first time, it is almost like a visual sensory overload. They are seeing everything for the very first time. They are seeing colors, shapes, and shadows without really seeing them since their little eyes are not trained to really focus on anything. I think the thing that would be most comparable for an adult would be like sitting in a pitch-black room for 5 - 10 minutes, and then opening them and staring straight into a 100 watt light bulb

Babies can only see 8 to 10 inches in front of them, that is not very far at all. The things that they will see the best is their parents when they are being held. Babies also cannot tell the difference between two different objects or move their eyes between two different images. A baby who was just born may look like they are looking at, and focusing on an object but they really aren’t.

12Epidural = Drowsy Newborn

During the labor and delivery process, if mom was administered certain medications to help relieve pain, then after the baby is born he or she could be brought into this world feeling drowsy. If mom received an epidural, it is now known that the baby can become more sleepy and lazy, especially when trying to nurse, shortly after birth. The sleepiness will go away naturally.

This is a rarity, but if there would be an emergency during delivery, and mom needed to go under general anesthesia, the baby would also be affected and be born very sleepy. Another class of medications that would cause the baby to be born drowsy would be opiates. These would be things like morphine, Percocet, fentanyl, or Demerol. Labor is excruciatingly painful. If a mom would opt to receive a pain reliever, it would be completely, and undeniably, understandable. So, mom, try not to worry because a baby being born drowsy is not the end of the world, and will not put the baby in harm’s way.

11The "Gotta-Go" Feeling

This may sound strange, but it does fit in with this list because it is something that they baby feels for the very time shortly after they are born, but a baby feels themselves going potty for the first time usually. The only time a baby would have already felt these strange and new sensations before as if they were post-term and went to the bathroom while still inside of the womb.

Many moms don’t realize that, but it is possible for a baby to potty while in the womb. It is not good for them, or their mom, but it does happen. There is no way to tell for sure what a baby feels the first time it goes to the bathroom, but it has to be new. It is something that they consciously do not think about, and that the body does for them automatically. But they are still able to feel it.

10It's Like Walking Into Winter

While a baby is snug inside of its mother’s womb, it is resting at a temperature of about 98.6 degrees. A typical delivery room is around 70 degrees. When babies are born, they go through a drastic change in temperature. It may be like walking outside into the cold after being inside in the heat. There is a debate between what the baby is actually feeling, whether or not the drastic change in temperature is extremely shocking to the baby.

What we do know, is that a baby’s thyroid level is elevated after it is born and this is due to the instantaneous exposure to the cold and the baby’s increased adrenaline. When the thyroid levels are elevated, it increases heat production from a special type of fat known as “brown” fat, which will help keep the baby a bit warmer. Moms, hold one’s baby tight are they are born to help them warm up faster.

9The First Breath

There is no way to know for sure what a baby’s first breath actually feels like since they are unable to verbalize those feelings. What we do know, is that the first few breaths will most likely be the hardest breaths a baby will ever have to take. There is a lot that happens within the baby’s body to prepare itself for that first intake of oxygen.

During pregnancy, a baby's lungs are filled with fluid, and they are getting oxygen through the placenta. After birth and the umbilical cord is cut, the fluid is removed from the blood and lymph system and is replaced by air. A baby’s lungs must be able to swap oxygen for carbon dioxide.

It is a spectacular thing that a baby’s body can do when preparing for its first initial breath. If a mom doesn’t hear her baby right immediately after birth, she shouldn’t worry. It usually follows shortly after. Sometimes babies need a little manual stimulation to get their lungs to function.

8Gooey Eyes

A lot of moms are unaware of this, but when a baby is delivered, they automatically put an antibiotic ointment on its eyes. Some parents are surprised when they are handed their little one, and their eyes look wet and slick, and some parents think that it’s water or something similar that they, for some reason, put on their baby’s eyes. This is a new sensation that the baby will feel on its eyes after birth. It may feel odd, or cool. It won’t harm mom’s baby, and it’s actually there for a good reason too.

It is an antibiotic eye ointment called ilotycin, and it is given to prevent a baby from developing neonatal conjunctivitis, or in other words pink eye, which can be caused by the things like a mom having an STD like gonorrhea or chlamydia, or from bacteria like e. Coli. So, mom doesn't worry about that stuff on the baby’s eyes because it’s there to keep one’s baby healthy.

7The Instinct To Suckle

The human body and mind is a brilliant thing. It is amazing how we can be born with instincts to do things naturally and automatically without putting any thought or effort into what we are doing; we just do it. Our bodies lead the way and send a signal that automatically tells us what to do. Newborn babies are born with the natural instinct to suckle. It’s hard to say for sure what signals we are born with that allows us to do things instinctively, but we know it’s there.

Some babies are a little stronger at suckling than others, but all babies have this instinct. If a mom’s baby does not have to appear to have strong suckling skills the first time they latch on, that’s okay because they will quickly pick up on it. It may just take a little practice first. Think about, the first time we try something we may not be the best right away, but we quickly learn because that is out human nature.

Suckling is a new feeling for a baby after birth, but it is something that stays with them, and the baby automatically knows that in order to eat, they have to suckle.

6Mom's Warm Skin

When a baby makes its way into the world, and it has taken its first breath of fresh air, the doctor places the baby on top of its mother’s stomach; this is when the baby gets to make its first official skin to skin contact with its mother. The baby feels its mother’s warm, soft skin for the first time and is comforted by the familiarity. The baby might not have ever physically touched its mother’s skin before, but it is fully aware of who its mother is.

Skin to skin contact after birth is said to have great benefits for the baby, including better respiratory, glucose, and temperature stability. It is also said that babies who have the contact right after birth have fewer issues with separation than babies who do not get a chance to receive that much-needed contact. Moms, snuggle up with the little one during that first meeting.

5There Are Feelings Of Confusion

This is anecdotal since babies cannot speak to us and tell us exactly how they are feeling after they are born. It is believed that after a baby is born, that it may harbor feelings of confusion. After all, they have just undergone a very traumatic event. Most likely, the most traumatic event that they will ever go through. However, they are unable to remember their own birth as they get older so it is a trauma that should not affect them as they develop and grow.

Anyone would feel confused when taken from the only environment that one knows, which for a baby would be the womb. There are tons of new sensations and feelings. The five senses are overloaded with stimulation. It is completely understandable why a baby may feel confused. Moms can comfort their little one by holding them close, and speak to them softly; comforting them with the soothing sounds of their voice.

4And Overwhelmingness

Just like with how babies may feel confused, it is also anecdotally believed that babied also feel overwhelmed after birth. It would be simply amazing to hear would a baby would have to say about their own birth if they could speak. It’s beyond understandable that a baby would feel overwhelmed because they are on today sensory overload.

Baby’s get to see things for the very first time, they get to see mom’s face for the very first time. Babies can finally place the voice they have hearing inside of the womb with their mothers loving face. They hear things differently than from when they were inside of their mom’s. Their sense of touch is picking of on unfamiliar things. Babies are also smelling and tasting new things after birth. With some much newness going the baby may also feel overstimulated directly after birth. It has to be strange to feel so many different things happening at one time.

3The Growling Stomach

A lot of people wonder if babies feel hunger while they are inside of the womb. The answer to that is that, no, babies do not feel hunger while they are inside of the womb, and they are attached to the placenta. If a person thinks about, since the placenta is how babies get their food sources and nutrition, it is like they are constantly hooked up to a food IV the entire pregnancy.

However, after the baby is born and the umbilical cord has been cut; all bets off over. A baby will start to develop feelings of hunger. That’s why a lot of newborns eat not too long after being delivered. Those hunger pangs will creep in, and the baby will learn to cry when they are hungry.

If a baby would feel hunger inside the womb, that may be an issue seeing as how mom has no way to physically comfort her hungry unborn baby, and the baby can’t press something or move a certain way to make the placenta deliver more of the good stuff that they are craving.

2What Is Air?

Another new sensation that a baby will feel, almost immediately, after being born is air on their skin for the first time. The rush of air flowing across a baby’s skin may feel something like a tiny, barely noticeable breeze. It may not seem like much, but to the new baby, feeling the air move is a new feeling. While inside the womb, the baby is surrounded by fluids, so there is no chance for a baby to feel moving air.

The thing it would be most comparable to for an adult, or even a child, would be coming out of a pool after being fully submerged in water. That first rush of air that sometimes prickles one’s skin. We are constantly surrounded by moving air, so we no longer realize that little things like this would be considered brand new to a newborn.

1And This Thing Called A Blanket?

While a baby is inside the womb, it is highly limited to the types of materials and things it can touch and feel. The baby only had access to its own skin, and will only know what that feels like. Shortly after birth, the baby is wrapped in a soft, warm blanket. That is baby’s first full contact with a soft material. Imagine what it would feel like to feel a new material for the first time ever? One would take notice of whether or not it is soft or rough, warm or cold.

Hopefully the first time a baby gets bundled up in the warm blanket after delivery, it is comforted by the feel of the blanket on its bare skin. I know the baby will feel even more comforted, warm, and protected after he or she is in their mother’s arms for the first time. The baby will also be feeling a diaper on its bottom for the first time, which may be a weird, constricting sensation for the baby.

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