Do you know of any studies on effects of traumatic events on newborns? Can they be long-lasting? If yes, when would it make sense to think of some help (e.g., therapy)?
Situation: Three days after birth, while still in the hospital, my daughter showed signs of an infection (e.g., fever, accelerated breathing). It followed that she was put on intravenous antibiotics, a 10 day treatment. During these 10 days, a number of doctors and nurses made many attempts (sometimes even several times a day) to poke her blood vessels for the IV, while holding her still on a table, accompanied by baby's uninterrupted cry. Depending on the skill of the nurse, it would even take them 1 hour to manage. In addition, they took blood samples every day. Mom and dad were always there, talking to her, and trying to comfort her, but it was nevertheless painful (for us to watch, and surely for her to experience, at least physically, but we think also and mentally).
At 3 weeks old, baby gets fever, and she has the same bacterial infection again. Same process: 10 days IV antibiotics in the hospital, plus several other tests that required her to be still (i.e., be held still), accompanied by terrible cries. Note: She was never left alone with the health carers.
Ever since, I have noticed her distress, to say the least, when putting her on a changing table (except for when at home), on a scale (at the child health center), or similar, even if it is just me doing that, and constantly talking/singing to her to keep her distracted from the context. To the point that between 3 and 5 months I refused to weigh her at the child health center, following a 2 hour long inconsolable cry at her previous weigh in. She is now 9 months old, and although her reactions seem to have improved, they are still there. (No such reactions if she just lies on the bed, or on the floor).
I should mention that she is otherwise a happy, joyful, unproblematic baby, who seldom cries during the day. She is normally developed for her age. However, there have been periods with frequent hysterical cries in her sleep, but that seems to be related to babies' development (although I do not know if my baby has significantly more such episodes than what is considered normal).
Update at 18 months: Around 1 y.o. we couldn't notice any negative reaction to being put horizontally on changing tables anymore. She also does not seem to have any other negative behaviour that is not simply age-specific and her development is normal. So hopefully no long-lasting effects.