Breastfeeding and Breast Milk Can Reduce Baby’s Pain

Breast milk is said to have many benefits. Chalk up another for breast milk: breastfeeding can potentially reduce a baby’s pain during simple medical procedures. A group of researchers from Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, led by Dr. Prakeshkumar Shah, did a literature review of eleven studies that compared babies’ pain when they were breastfeeding or drinking supplemental breast milk versus other measures such as swaddling, being given a pacifier, and being given a placebo. In a weird twist, it did not beat out giving babies a glucose solution. The literature review found no studies testing this for repeated medical procedures, so there goes my plans for giving out “free drinks of breast milk with every needle jab” coupons. The study was published in Issue 3 of the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

2 thoughts on “Breastfeeding and Breast Milk Can Reduce Baby’s Pain

  1. Isn’t the glucose solution supposed to get them all high and happy? That’s what the doctor told us when she was taking away our less than a day old son for circumcision.

    I wonder how much of the pain relief is reall related to *act* of nursing as opposed to the milk itself. The pediatrician encourages me to nurse immediately after vaccinations, and he seems to forget the pain immediately, while he will whine and fuss for about 30 minutes if I don’t nurse. I always figured it was the act of nursing, though, since it supposedly releases some happy hormones in the baby’s brain…

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