I had no idea stroking my baby could have such a positive effect!

Posted on 17 October 2012

There's no doubt about it: Pregnancy can be a stressful nine months for a mom-to-be. But, did you know this period can be equally stressful for that little bun in-the-oven? And that this can cause behavioral and emotional problems later on in a child's life?

If you're expecting and have experienced complications during this time, it's important that you stay calm. Recent research conducted by three English universities has shown that you can reverse any negative experiences your lovebug has had in the womb by doing one thing: stroking your baby.

That's right. As a part of the Wirral Child Health and Development Study, scientists looked at pregnant women in England as part of the Wirral Child Health and Development Study who were depressed during those nine months and found that their babies actually demonstrated negative emotions once they were born, which included anger and fear. However, by simply gently touching their tiny tot's arms, back, legs and and head, they were actually able to reverse the effects of prenatal stress.

Although this finding is certainly fascinating, it isn't very surprising. Analysts conducted a similar study using rats and discovered that the mommas who licked and groomed their babies more were also able to undo any symptoms.

"We are currently following up on the Wirral children in our study to see if reports of early stroking by their mothers continue to make a difference to developmental outcomes over time," said Dr. Helen Sharp, a faculty member at one of the universities that helped conduct the research.

Of course, if you are concerned about your baby's behavior, your best bet is to take him or her to the pediatrician. Your doctor can see if there are any medical tests that need to be conducted as well as provide you with some tips on how to keep your infant calm and happy.

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