How your baby feels at birth

Ever wondered what birth’s like from a newborn’s point of view? Baby sensory expert Megan Faure is your guide

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Getting ready: 70 days to birth

It’s been 200 days since your baby turned from a ball of cells into a foetus and over the past seven months she has been developing each and every body sense – touch, vision, hearing, smell and even taste.

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At 14 weeks, her taste buds clicked in, and since then she’s been tasting your food as the flavours drift into the amniotic fluid.

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Engaging: 14 days to birth

Today your baby will begin to feel an urge to turn upside down. This “engagement” turns her the right way for birth and gets her head facing the birth canal, ready to come out first. If she doesn’t get round to this, she could be breech and may need turning or birth by caesarean. Though it is possible, if fairly uncommon, to deliver a breech baby naturally.

Now all of her senses are well developed, she’ll find her womb world is full of sensory input from you, your body and the outside world. Most of the sensory information in the womb world is soothing, with muffled sounds and a soothing rocking motion when you walk.

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Contractions: 7 hours to birth

When your baby wakes up today, she’ll find that the space around her is shrinking as your uterus contracts. Just as it gets to its tightest, your uterus relaxes, giving her more space.

Over the past few months as she’s grown, she’ll have felt her space decreasing, giving her less room to move about. Unborn babies’ brains respond to a certain amount of deep pressure so he’ll enjoy a bear hug from your partner as much as you.

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Transition stage: 1 hour to birth

There’s no stopping your baby now! She’ll be feeling an uncontrollable urge to to get out of there! It’s a tight squeeze in the birth canal, but nature’s a wonderful thing and your baby’s body is designed to come out that way.

For this, her skull bones haven’t permanently fused together so her head is much more squeezable than yours! This is also why newborns often don’t look like the babies you see on TV straightaway.

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Preparing to breath: 7 minutes to birth

There are now stress hormones buzzing around your baby’s brain, getting her ready for her big entry into the world. Cortisol increases her heart rate in preparation for her first breath. Up until now all the oxygen she’s needed has been supplied from you via the umbilical cord.

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In the next few moments, the change in pressure and temperature will make her lungs open for the first time and she’ll start breathing on my own.

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