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Breastfeeding and touch may ease pain in newborns

Thursday September 22nd, 2011

Breastfeeding and massages may help to reduce pain in newborns, delegates at a European conference have heard.

Studies presented at the EFIC Congress in Hamburg, Germany, which is taking place until September 24, 2011, have demonstrated that simple, non-pharmacological measures are very soothing to babies in the first days of life.

Dr Luis Batalha told delegates that a Portuguese study found that support staff relied on comforting techniques to help newborns in intensive care.

“Nurses apply non-pharmacological measures often and successfully, such as massages, various comforting techniques and turning the infant over,” he said.

“But other more gentle therapies should also be encouraged, such as breastfeeding by the mother or administering of sugar in the form of glucose or sucrose.”

Dr Simin Taavoni, from the University of Tehran, Iran, said that infants who are breastfed by their mothers while being vaccinated for diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT) suffered less pain than those babies who had to lie on an examination table while they had the intramuscular injections.

“With the simple and safe intervention of breastfeeding, doctors and other health care personnel can significantly reduce pain during injections and vaccinations,” she said.

Meanwhile, another study that was conducted by a Portuguese-Canadian research group found that preterm babies in intensive care suffered less pain during blood tests if they had a combination of succerose, a dummy (pacifier) and skin-to-skin contact with their mother, known as kangoroo care.

“They also slept during the intervention more frequently, and on average returned more quickly to a normal heart rate at a gestational age of at least 32 weeks,” said Dr Ananda Maria Fernandes, from Coimbra, Portugal.

EFIC Abstracts F426 Vaccination Pain Management: Effect Of Breast Feeding On Infant´S Behavioral Pain Scale, A Randomized Control Trial Study; S280 Non-Pharmacological Interventionsin Pain Management In Neonatal Intensive Care; T280 The Effects Of Breast Milk And Glucose On Pain Scores Of Preterm Neonates Undergoing Heel Lancing: A Randomized Controlled Trial; S277 Kangaroo Care Combined With Sucrose And Pacifier To Reduce Pain Responses Of Preterm Neonates To Venipuncture.

Tags: Asia | Child Health | Childbirth and Pregnancy | Europe | Pain Relief | Women’s Health & Gynaecology

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