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Research Article Open Access

Using Allostatic Load as a Framework for Neonatal Research and Practice


This article is a brief overview of the appropriateness of the theory of allostatic load as a framework for performing neonatal research and practice. By using the theory of allostatic load as a framework, researchers and practitioners will not negate the effects of stressors experienced by the fetus during pregnancy - as well as stresses inherent in birth – which are compounded by potentially traumatic interventions. Infant temperament, response to noxious stimuli (such as circumcision, heelstick blood draws, and vaccination for examples), and response to separation from their mother can all be affected by such prenatal and birth stressors when taken in the context of the theory of allostatic load.

Amanda Burke-Aaronson

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