During birth, the babies look very weird or mystifying. It’s not their look but the facts during the first few hours that are fascinating.
a) The umbilical cord nourishes the baby till the lungs take over: The umbilical cord supplies oxygen-rich blood to the foetus while the baby is in the mother’s womb. When the baby is born the lungs take over supplying oxygen-rich blood to the body, heart as the baby learns to breathe. Even the umbilical cord is cut and clamped –
some amount of blood transfusion takes place from the cord to the newborn, this process is on till the lungs take over the supply of oxygenated blood completely.
b) The first poop is scary: The gastrointestinal gets started and is functional only after the baby is born. As expected the baby can poop anytime after birth. It is normally slimy – darkish green and black colour taking the parents and attendant off guard and scary. Not to be afraid of this is called meconium which does not have any smell
and is the ingested materials when the body was in the womb – mainly consisting of food, mucus, lanugo (baby’s body hair), amniotic fluids, and fluids from the intestinal tract, skin and bile.
c) The whitish substance: The baby is found covered with a white substance called – Vernix Caseosa as soon as it comes out of the womb. It feels and looks like gooey cheese. This develops on the foetal skin during the third trimester in the mother’s womb. This protects the foetal from germs and more importantly provides hydration when the baby is in the amniotic sac before birth.
d) Babies burn their brown fat: The womb is always warm and cosy and when the baby is out, the temperature outside is much colder comparatively. The babies, however, don’t shiver as the body starts burning the brown fat to create heat and regulate the body’s temperature till it gets normal and prevents Hypothermia.
e) Hairy babies: Just after the birth, one will notice that a baby has lots of hair on the body. This fine hair referred to as Lanugo, develops in the womb around the fifth month of the gestation period and starts to disappear around the seventh or eighth month. But some of them stay and shed off after a few days or in a week.
These facts have their humour and may be new to some. From now on, you
will have a different perspective. Happy parenting!
(The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the website)