Health Desk: 5 December '17: --- When newborn babies are under stress, their brains show a heightened response to pain, but the baby is unlikely to show it by crying, a new study has found. The findings showed that stress leads to an apparent disconnect between the baby’s brain activity and his/her behaviour.
Stressed babies might appear not to respond to pain, as their brain is still processing it. As a result, the caregivers are likely to underestimate the baby’s pain experience.
Thus, it is imperative to identify different ways to understand babies who are stressed, the researchers suggested.
For the study, the team enrolled healthy, newborn infant boys and girls from the postnatal ward and special care baby unit and measured the babies’ stress levels based on salivary levels of cortisol stress hormone and heartbeat patterns, both before and after a clinically necessary heel lance.
The study was reported in the journal Current Biology.