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November 21, 2017

Family adjustments to a new baby arriving

Angela Power

The arrival of a baby changes a family’s dynamics.  Bonding with the new family member can help smooth this change – it can help everyone in the family to accept the sense of disharmony that having a new baby can bring.  Feeling closer and more bonded with a new baby can also ease our reactions to the sleeplessness and crying.

In addition, recent research by Dr Frasnelli has concluded that exposure to newborn babies lights up pleasure centres in the brain. These centres lead to reward-driven behaviours and are associated with strong desires for food. They are also a part of the addictive process for compounds such as tobacco.

In Dr Frasnelli’s study, women were given the pyjamas worn by babies and asked to smell them.  Even though they were unable to identify the smells, fMRIs showed that a powerful impact had been made on the brain. This reaction happened irrespective of whether the women were mothers themselves, or even knew the babies.

This research points to the conclusion that snuggling up to a baby rewards us as well as the baby, and is an important part of the bonding process.

It hasn’t yet been extended to studying the reactions of men and children; however other research has shown that pheromones and aromas have powerful effects on social behaviours.  Allowing siblings and pets to spend time in physical closeness to the new baby could play an important part in the evolving family.

For anybody looking to try cranial, visceral or children’s osteopathy, look no further than Clinic on the Green. Angela delivers these treatments which are available for all ages, and are designed to nurture both body and mind.

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