I hate getting a shot. As a kid, I’d tense up and my arm would be sore for days. When it came time to bring my kids in for their baby shots, I dreaded it.
Every pediatrician has a different approach when it comes to giving shots, and in my case he would have me hold the baby while he administered the shot.
When my daughter started crying, he’d take the baby from my arms and say, “What did mommy do to you?” I wasn’t sure what to think, but with the baby vaccination schedule, it became routine. As my kids grew they didn’t seem to be apprehensive about going to the doctor.
Today, I read an article about a Durham University study that suggests babies may experience heightened levels of pain when they are getting their shots as a result of the mom’s anxiety.
The theory behind the study is that new moms can pass their fears about vaccination on to their kids. The results suggest that the babies pick up on the moms’ anxiety and that the distress is somehow “felt” by the baby. The result, according to the study, is the baby feels more pain.
Researchers also concluded that a baby’s early experience with pain can influence how they respond to painful events later in life. Now it’s not enough to take our children in for infant vaccinations; now we have to learn not to stress about it.
Truthfully, I wonder who thinks up some of these studies and how they measure things like how much pain a baby is feeling while getting a shot.
Maybe the doctor had me hold the baby so I couldn’t see when they actually stuck them with the needle. All I know is that as anxious as I felt about it, my kids took it in stride.
Photo credits: abbybatchelder