The Importance of Your Baby’s First Cry!

The joy of hearing your baby cry for the first time is almost an indescribable feeling. Why is it so important to hear your baby cry within the first minute of birth?

During your baby’s stay in the womb, the umbilical cord carries oxygen and carbon dioxide from the placenta into your baby’s bloodstream. As soon as your baby is born, they should begin crying within the first 30 seconds to one minute of life,  his/ her first cry will be at the top of your doctor’s priority list.  The reason is, your baby’s first cry acts as a kick-starter for their little lungs, as it helps them to get rid of any amniotic residue and other secretion in the lungs and nasal passages.


It is considered a medical emergency when a baby does not cry/ breathe immediately after being born, the baby who cannot breathe cannot establish independent life outside the mother and will have to undergo what is known as neonatal resuscitation which simply means that the baby will require some form of assistance to begin breathing.

The first cry hence signifies a successful transition from “breathing” fluid in the womb to breathing air after being born. This breath sounds like a gasp, as the newborn’s central nervous system reacts to the sudden change in temperature and environment.

Once the baby takes the first breath, a number of changes occur in the infant’s lungs and circulatory system:

  • Increased oxygen in the lungs causes a decrease in blood flow resistance to the lungs.
  • Blood flow resistance of the baby’s blood vessels also increases.
  • Amniotic fluid drains or is absorbed from the respiratory system.
  • The lungs inflate and begin working on their own, moving oxygen into the bloodstream and removing carbon dioxide by breathing out (exhalation).

Now you understand that your baby’s first cry is synonymous with their first breath and perhaps a way of saying hello to you and the world!


See below to watch more videos of baby’s first moments!


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