Breastfeeding During A Painful Procedure Reduces The Response To Pain
Pain related behavior was evaluated using recognized pain rating scales, and video recordings of the procedure were assessed by two observers blinded to the purpose of the study.
Pain scores varied significantly among the groups. Of 44 infants in the breastfeeding group, 16 showed no indication at all that the venepuncture and blood sampling had even occurred. No reduction in pain response was seen in infants who were simply held in their mother's arms, possibly because these infants were dressed and did not have skin to skin contact with their mothers, say the authors.
"Our findings are clinically important as they show that natural protective mechanisms may safely and non-invasively be activated by breastfeeding during medical procedures," they conclude.