Analgesic effect of breast feeding in term neonates: randomised controlled trial

Newborn infants routinely undergo painful invasive procedures, even after uncomplicated birth. Evidence shows that neonates do feel pain and may even have increased sensitivity to pain and to its long term effects compared with older infants. Treating procedural pain has become a crucial part of neonatal care. In healthy infants, the most common painful procedures are heel lance and venepuncture. Pharmacological treatments are rarely used during these procedures because of con­cerns about their effectiveness (topical local anaesthetic
or paracetamol for heel pricks) and potential adverse effects (central analgesics). Therefore, non­ pharmacological interventions are valuable alternatives.

Recent studies have reported that pain can be reduced with simple and benign interventions such as sweet oral solutions (sucrose or glucose) and nonnutritive sucking or multisensory stimulation.
More recently, Gray et al reported that 10 to 15 minutes of skin to skin contact between mothers and infants reduced crying, grimacing, and heart rate during heel lance procedures. Environmental and behavioural strategies have been considered essential to the prevention and management of neonatal pain. As breast feeding probably constitutes the most potent pleasant stimulation a newborn infant can experience we hypothesised that breast feeding could have analgesic properties in neonates.
We investigated the efficacy of breast feeding for
pain relief during venepuncture in term neonates and compared any effect with that of oral glucose combined with a pacifier.
BMJ 2003;326;13

A teljes cikk a British Medical Journal oldalán található.