What Role Does The Baby Play In Birth?

If you overhear any newbie parent, you will definitely hear the phrase, “At least, the baby was all right, and that’s what matters.” This comment is followed up with some stories regarding the birthing experience, a birth that would start well, but turned into a scary, painful experience that the family is still shook up.


French obstetrician and author, Fredrick Leboyer emphasizes the importance of taking care of the baby during birthing. After all that’s what you are waiting for right, to be able to hold your little bundle of joy and love him/her like there is no tomorrow.

If you are still wondering if the birthing experience will shape the baby or whether it will have an impact on the baby, these are some of the reasons why birthing experience matters.

The Most Important Person In Birth

There is no doubt on the fact that the mother does most of the work during birthing. She has to bear the pain of contractions, be on the

move constantly and let’s not even go to the whole pushing the baby through the birth canal. However, while we see what the mother does to give birth, the baby’s movements are unseen.

The baby also shifts in position, navigates himself/herself through the pelvic inlet and outlet and pass through the birth canal, finally to be born. Nowadays, the doctors and midwives recognizes the role the baby plays, and they infact can use this information to make informed decisions about birth. The mother, too, must listen to what the baby wants to say so that she is able to push her baby easily.

Procedures Do Traumatize Baby

Modern healthcare has advanced to such extent that it can save lives. However, inspite of becoming a norm in the 20th century, the need of medical assistance is not a rule, rather an exception during labor.

When the baby decides on the birthing route, she/he is able to navigate seamlessly. However, sometimes, the baby’s birth depends on certain medications that can cause adverse side effects like severe contractions, or she might be pulled during birthing. This affects

the baby, as it is disrupted from the normal flow of events.
However, when medical procedures are necessary, the benefits of healthy mother and baby takes precedence over everything else. What we are trying to say is that whatever be the process, an induction, C-section, assisted vaginal birth, etc. just make sure that the baby and the mother is fine at the end of it all.

Birth Environment Molds Baby’s Feelings

Before, doctors thought that babies didn’t feel any pain and if they did, wouldn’t possibly remember it. However, a recent study by Oxford University1 proved otherwise. What this means is that babies are conscious human beings, and inspite of not being able to articulate emotions, they do feel physical pain, and also experience loneliness, insecurity and uncertainty of the future.
Remember, that the babies are spending close to nine months in a warm environment. They hear soothing noises and then they are finally born. As soon as they were born, they were whisked away from warm environment and soothing voices to

a room of loud noises and unfamiliar sensations.

Leboyer stresses on the importance of giving birth in a calmer environment, with no harsh lights and no shouting. Baby’s should be immediately put on his/her mother’s arm so that sense of security does not goes away. The gentler environment makes a more comfortable birthing experience for the baby.

Birthing Mother Also Plays An Indispensable Role

When pregnant, the lifestyle choices that you make also affects the baby’s birthing experience. While some complications are not in your hands like gestational diabetes, there are others that can be controlled with exercise and a balanced diet.

The mothers to be can prep themselves better for birth and take informed decisions about procedures. There are comprehensive childbirth classes that would help the mothers to cope with the difficulties of labor. We understand that labor is not easy, but if prepared from before, giving birth may not look like a challenge.

It Doesn’t End With Childbirth

If you talk with child development specialist, you will get to know that future well being and development of the child greatly depends on the bond

formed between the child and his/her primary caregivers just hours after birth.

If the mother is low in confidence, is unhappy, she will fail to develop that bond with her child. This means that as a mother, you have to beam with confidence, be happy and positive throughout no matter what the situation, for only then would you be able to embark on this journey, confidently and controlled.

We are not undermining the role of the mother or the role of the baby in the birthing experience, we are just trying to establish that everyone plays an important role during childbirth, even the father. While the doctors and the healthcare providers have their work cut out for them, the mother and the baby need to look out for each other, each understanding the other would help in making childbirth a beautiful experience.