Birth experience and baby temperament - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 41 Old 10-29-2010, 01:10 AM
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I've been thinking about this alot.
I think that the way the Mama feels during labor and the way she and baby are treated during labor, birth and those first moments and days have alot to do with temperament. Not necessarily how long or difficult labor was.
I especially think that babies who are induced and treated roughly during labor and birth will have a hard time adjusting to life on the outside.
Just look at the way babies are typically greeted when they're born.
-Lot's of rough handling by strangers
-taken away from Mama
-Bright lights and strange noises
-Familiar scents immediately washed away
-Poked with needles
-Blinded by eye goop

I think all that plays apart into how a baby adjusts to it's new world.

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#32 of 41 Old 10-29-2010, 02:12 PM
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DS had a really gentle entry into the world.

During pregnancy I was very relaxed and unstressed. During the labor I felt calm. It started in the early morning, and I went back to sleep. Spent much of the day chatting with my friends via IMer. They couldn't believe I wasn't panicking. Labor finally picked up at 6pm, minutes before my midwife and mother arrived. Never for a second did I feel any fear for my safety or the baby's, or any concern about having trouble birthing him. Everybody took good care of me. Nobody and nothing annoyed me during labor. Then I felt the urge to push and wanted the MW to check my cervix. I found the news that I was fully dilated to be very encouraging. I felt a bit frustrated during the 2 hours of pushing because I felt like he kept sliding back. But it was all gentle and calm and I knew I just needed to keep plodding along and that over time I would stretch and his head would get narrow. He was born into gentle lighting, a warm temp, no eye goop or vit K, no needles, no strangers handling him, no washing until the next day.

Though he was received into the world very gently, it was immediately clear he had an intense personality. He seemed agitated or furious about everything. Very insistent and demanding about his needs being met. (I would have met them either way. I've seen how quietly other babies protest and ask for things, and their parents take their gentle cries very seriously. But DS started with the loudest and most urgent cry you ever heard.) He wore everyone out very fast. All my helpers disappeared. And I spent the first year very stressed and alone and exhausted. And it really damaged my health.

He's much more relaxed now. And looking back at that first year, and how worked up he used to get over the slightest thing, I couldn't imagine that by 3 he would be so laid back and unfazed by everything.

Leigh, mama to Rostislav homeborn Aug 9 2007, and Oksana homeborn Feb 24 2011.
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#33 of 41 Old 10-29-2010, 02:54 PM
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I have four kids, and ALL of them were easy babies. Calm, easy to soothe, didn't cry unless they were hungry or had a real reason to. It was never stressful to take care of them as infants (well, except when I had their older siblings to care for at the same time).

My first was born via c-section after 39 hours of labor.
My second was born via c-section after 0 hours of labor (scheduled section).
My third was born via c-section after 36 hours of labor.
My fourth was born via c-section after 0 hours of labor (scheduled section).

The only one I would say had a slightly higher needs temperment wise compared to his brothers and sister, was my 3rd. He had eczema that was really bad as a baby, and would cause him discomfort and lots of scratching. But he was still a 'good' baby - maybe just slightly more irritable than the others. I don't even think he cried any more than they did - which was very rarely.

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#34 of 41 Old 10-30-2010, 03:11 PM
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I would say my most intense labor was my most intense baby, but I don't think his personality had anything to do with the labor. My first was a pretty easy 7.5 hr homebirth, 20 minutes of pushing. She was a mellow, easy baby. Second was a much more intense labor, 7.5 hours again, maybe 5 minutes of pushing...home waterbirth. I don't know why the labor would have been traumatic for the baby, but he's VERY intense and high-needs. My 3rd labor was 5 hours, home waterbirth, in between the other two for intensity. Pushing stage was a little different with this one because I tried to breathe baby out to avoid tearing (and he turned out to be breech so that changed the way the urge-to-push felt). He's only 5 days old but looks like he will be pretty mellow, definitely not super intense like my middle child.
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#35 of 41 Old 10-30-2010, 04:27 PM
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I have 3.

First baby, unnecessary induction over 3 days followed by 12 hour labour etc etc etc, she was an easy baby, quiet, fun etc BUT it was ME who had issues with her, each time I looked at her, I felt fear, I loved her, I still love her nearly 7 years on but our relationship suffered because of that birth.

Second baby, 12 hour labour, wasn't easy, wasn't particularly hard, very difficult baby, hours and hours and hours and hours of crying, the whole family up until 3 in the morning etc etc.

Third baby, easy 5 hour labour but another tricky baby.

After the first year, they all kinda chill out and are all excellent kids, friendly, sociable, kind, loving, everyone who meets them tells me how wonderful they are (kinda sounds like boasting but I am just saying)...... I don't know about my last 2 children, but the first birth affected me awfully and that ended up affecting my daughter because I wasn't responding to her properly.
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#36 of 41 Old 10-31-2010, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Lady Lilya View Post
I've read that when we feel the pain of labor, endorphins are released to help us cope, and are also released into the baby's blood stream. So, the baby is getting a natural pain relief.

Contrast that with experiences after the birth, like rough and callous treatment that some babies get at hospitals. (Did you all see the video on youtube of a nurse bathing a newborn? She was holding him under running water in the sink while he was sputtering and panicking, and she was roughly rubbing him with a coarse-looking rag.) Or perhaps painful medical issues like a surgery shortly after birth, or reflux, etc.
Or foot pricks,vit k shots and vaccines. I have read that high stress during pregnancy equals high stress/high needs baby. Not so sure about the delivery though.

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#37 of 41 Old 11-01-2010, 11:41 AM
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But I had a very high needs baby after a super low-stress pregnancy. At least until near the end, when I got some sciatica and worried that it would interfere with my ability to have a natural birth. (It was so bad the first day that I couldn't move, but it got better very fast and didn't interfere with the birth at all.) Can one day of stress about 5 days before the birth have enough impact to counteract 9 months of relaxed pregnancy?

This pregnancy I have had a lot more stress. DH reacted very badly to the news, even though it was a planned pregnancy. He has said a lot of things since then that have made me worry that we shouldn't have gotten pregnant again. I spent a lot of time crying about it. We'll see how the baby turns out, but I have a feeling he will be a lot more laid back than the first one.

Leigh, mama to Rostislav homeborn Aug 9 2007, and Oksana homeborn Feb 24 2011.
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#38 of 41 Old 11-02-2010, 01:53 AM
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Well, I gotta say, my most high needs baby that is a constant strain on my sanity was my only baby that was hospital born, pit induced due to Pre-E/HELLPs. I have wondered if his birth experience did affect his temperment.

Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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#39 of 41 Old 11-02-2010, 10:34 AM
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Maybe conception has more of a relevance? Afterall the one cell is going to be affected more than the billions of a full-term baby, no?
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#40 of 41 Old 11-02-2010, 10:45 AM
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Meh, I don't buy it.

DS1 -- beautiful, calm pregnancy, beautiful, peaceful natural birth, immediate latching on, never separated from me, blah blah blah was a very high-needs baby who finally slept through the night at age... four. He's still intense, needs lots of physical contact, and super sensitive.

DS2 -- much more stressful pregnancy (isolated in a new country, the death of a close family member & international travel to go to the funeral) plus a seriously traumatic birth experience (emergency Csec under GA, separated for a couple of hours after birth, etc). He's much more laid back and independent than his brother. Sleeps better (though not great) and is just the most laughing, cheerful guy imaginable.
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#41 of 41 Old 11-02-2010, 11:07 AM
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My first was a 25 hour difficult labor. She is definitely nowhere near difficult. My easiest birth was #3 and she is difficult though lovable. Tons of food allergies, very emotionally and sensory sensitive. So I don't buy it.

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