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Stress is defined as the body's general response to any stimulus that produces tension. Faced with some circumstance of possible danger or threat, the individual sets in motion his regulatory mechanisms to be able to adapt.
This term is continually linked to the lifestyle that exists today; traffic jams, rushing, accumulation of work, etc ... These are situations that generate such tension in adults. But,Is it possible for babies to be stressed?
The answer to the question if the baby can also suffer from stress is yes. Although we must clarify that most children suffer from "eustress" or positive stress, this being an active response to an unpleasant stimulus, which ends when the conflict is resolved. This type of stress provides us with useful tools to face life.
However, although it is rare that a child who is well cared for and is loved can suffer it, there is a percentage of babies who can suffer from the so-calledpathological stress or anxiety with which they can see their health altered.
There are multiple causes that can cause stress in babies. Among all of them we can highlight the following:
- Childbirth. The extent to which babies are stressed will depend on the type of delivery. Studies by Professor Vivette GLover and her team (Imperial College London) show that there is greater stress on the baby when there is instrumentalization to promote birth, such as the use of forceps. In contrast, the least stressed babies are those whose mothers deliver by scheduled or voluntary cesarean section. At the intermediate point is natural delivery, vaginally and without instrumentalization.
- Disease. Diseases that are very common in babies such as infant colic, flatulence, otitis produce very intense pain capable of producing great anxiety in children.
- Parental anxiety. Children are very sensitive to the emotional state of their parents, they are able to quickly grasp how they feel and quickly catch their mood.
- Lack of care. Studies show that children who are not fed when they are hungry, do not change their wet diapers, are allowed to cry until they are exhausted and do not get answers to their babbling, are more likely to suffer problems of stress, insecurities and fears that children to whom their parents dedicate all kinds of care with care and attention.
- Lack of sleep. If they do not get enough rest they do not regain strength and fatigue ends up taking a toll on them, first in the form of nervousness and then stress.
- The lack of routines. Babies need to follow a regular meal, sleep, bath, and walk schedule in order to anticipate what is going to happen. This will give them a sense of security.
- Excessive stimuli. Continuous noise, too much light, too many changes in activity, sudden movements, etc. They increase the nervousness of the little ones
The best thing we can do so that the baby does not suffer stress is to prevent it. For this, it is necessary to make the child feel loved and integrated within the family.
The family environment must be characterized as a calm and relaxed atmosphere, where there is an hourly routine in which there is space for food, play and rest.
Experts recommend breastfeeding, at least up to 6 months to prevent stress in babies, since it is one of the best immunoregulators that exists.
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