What Do Babies Feel During Childbirth?

If you've ever wondered what babies feel during childbirth, keep reading and take note!
What Do Babies Feel During Childbirth?

Last update: 16 April, 2019

We all know that women go through several physical and emotional phases during labor. But have you ever wondered what babies feel during childbirth? Find out in this article.

What do babies feel during childbirth?

Certainly, childbirth is a milestone, both for future mothers and babies. It’s a unique experience that mothers remember for the rest of their lives. However, it’s difficult to know what the babies go through, and if they suffer any pain during delivery.

Faced with this question, we know that babies actively participate during labor. However, their pain and their mother’s are totally different. Babies may feel some pain as they go through the birth canal, but no one knows for sure. Babies are able to move and reshape while traveling through the canal.

There are no solid conclusions about any pain that babies feel. However, babies’ variability of heart rate and the amount of sleep they get immediately after birth are small signs that suggest that the process involves some kind of pain and suffering.

The first contractions

The first signs of labor appear: contractions. With each contraction, the placenta and umbilical cord are compressed. Sometimes, this can make it difficult for babies to get oxygen for a little while. Luckily, this isn’t a problem for most babies.

In fact, uterine contractions don’t disturb babies, and their heart rate shows it. On the other hand, when the contractions are too strong or labor takes too long, the baby can’t get enough oxygen. However, their heart rate adapts to the lack of oxygen, and their heart can slow down or even speed up during contractions.

What Do Babies Feel During Childbirth?

Among other things, they have a long time to get used to contractions. This is because they progress slowly and gradually get more intense.

The journey through the birth canal and what babies feel during childbirth

Under the effect of contractions, babies gradually descend into a kind of tunnel. They make several movements and change position a few times to avoid the obstacles while, at the same time, they expand their neck. That said, experts don’t know exactly how much pain babies feel in this short trip.

Just like how doctors don’t know how much pain babies feel going down the birth canal, doctors also don’t know how much babies hear or see during delivery. However, they do know that babies have some auditory skills before entering the world.

On the other hand, it’s hard to tell how much babies can see before birth. After they’re born, we know that their vision is blurry at first and they can’t focus well.

After traveling through the birth canal, normally babies are in the front position. This means that their faces are faced towards the back of the mother. From there, they’re born and exit the womb through a series of gentle pushes during the contractions.

However, at the time of delivery, you might feel a little different from the significant stress, adrenaline and cortisol levels, which increases significantly to give you the strength to push. Once babies get their heads out, they start to breathe on their own.

What Do Babies Feel During Childbirth?


As you can see, many people don’t talk about what babies feel during childbirth, as if they only have passive roles. However, babies participate actively in childbirth.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.