Babies of first-time mothers feel more pain when having routine jabs than those of experienced mothers, a study suggests – because the youngsters can sense their anxiety about what is to come.
While new mothers may not show they are worried, their stress still has a very real effect on babies waiting for their first vaccination.
The babies express more signs of pain, even though they cannot possibly know what is going to happen, according to psychologist Dr Nadja Reissland of Durham University.
She said the empathy from first-time mothers about the pain to be inflicted on their child affects them both.
‘They are thinking of how their baby is going to be hurt – it doesn’t show on their face or in their behaviour but it’s communicated to the child,’ she said. ‘With more experienced mothers, they feel less anxious and can cope better.’
Something interesting to keep in mind for when baby arrives. Are you planning to immunize baby? Do you have anxiety about those first shots?