Saturday, December 15, 2007

Why does a baby cry at birth?

Most babies cry briefly in order to take their first breath. No one can say for sure whether the cry is purely reflexive or whether it reflects distress or pain, but the crying serves a vital purpose. During delivery a baby's oxygen supply is temporarily interrupted, and babies are almost always born in a state of oxygen starvation. Crying clears fluids from the respiratory tract and allows the baby to take in great gulps of air that inflate the lungs.

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