Print Edition - 2018-09-06  |  Health and Living

Cuddles help ease babies with needle stick


Sep 6, 2018-

Babies have long been offered a bit of sugar water or breastmilk to comfort them during needle sticks. A new study suggests these methods of pain relief may work even better when babies are also nestled in their mothers’ arms.

Researchers randomly assigned 80 healthy three-day-old infants getting a needle stick in their heel for blood tests to receive one of four types of pain relief: sugar water while they were on a changing table; pumped breast milk while they were on a changing table; sugar water while they were held by their mothers; or breastmilk directly from their mothers. “Clinically, mother’s lap, in combination with either glucose or breastfeeding, provided better analgesia than expressed breast milk and glucose alone,” said senior study author Dr Sergio Demarini of the Institute for Maternal and Child Health at IRCCS Burlo Garofolo in Trieste, Italy.

“The fact that (sugar) combined with holding was more effective than (sugar) alone once again shows the power of the multisensory approach. Holding also means speaking to the baby, movement, warmth, all which can further reduce pain responses in newborn babies,” said Denise Harrison, a researcher at Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

Published: 06-09-2018 07:42

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