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Why some babies don’t cry at birth

Why some babies don't cry at birth

In ordinary cases, babies cry almost as soon as they are born. And if not, the doctor or midwife may opt for other measures to induce the crying. So why is it so important for the baby to cry at birth and what are some of the reasons why some babies don’t cry at birth?

We try to find out more on the issue and if you should be concerned if your baby does not cry at birth.

Why it’s important for babies to cry at birth

Firstly, it’s very important for your baby to cry at birth as it shows that it’s breathing well. Until the late stages of pregnancy, the baby’s lungs are usually not well developed and this might be a cause for not crying at birth.

Not always a cause for concern

Even so, babies not crying at birth is not always a cause for concern. While some babies may have complications, others cry a few minutes after birth. It’s, however, not a good sign if your baby doesn’t cry at birth and is not breathing. But if they are breathing okay, it might turn out to be healthy.

When a baby cries at birth, it’s a positive sign that they are okay not just in terms of their vocal elements but also their facial muscles and other elements involved in crying.

The new environment and the cold the baby is exposed to after birth makes the baby cry. The baby’s cry at birth expands their lungs and expels the amniotic fluid and mucus to clear the airway. 

Why some babies don’t cry at birth

So why then is it that some babies don’t cry at birth? Does it mean that their lungs are damaged? 

If your baby doesn’t cry automatically at birth, the doctor or midwife will try to make it cry drying them, spanking, or, by suctioning the fluid in their airway. If the baby still does not cry and has other symptoms such as breathing difficulties, immediate medical attention is necessary.

Asphyxia neonatorum

Sleeping baby (healthline)

One of the reasons why some babies don’t cry at birth is due to inadequate Oxygen before, during and immediately after birth which is known as asphyxia neonatorum.  Within one minute after birth, the newborn is supposed to breathe without assistance. If they don’t, it’s treated as an emergency case as it can lead to brain damage and death if not properly managed. 

Reduced Oxygen maybe due to prolonged labour or if the baby had a cord around its neck. If pain medication was used during delivery, it might sedate the baby and delay the crying.

They need some time to adjust

As we earlier mentioned, it’s not always a cause for concern when a baby does not cry at birth. In some cases, the baby just needs a little more time to adjust to its new environment. As long as their heart rate is okay, they are breathing well and the skin colour looks okay, your baby is probably very healthy. 

Bottomline

As long as your baby’s failure to cry at birth is not accompanied by other symptoms, you should not be worried. Some babies don’t cry at birth yet turn out to be healthy.

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