Natural Contact Feeding During Immunization Can Relieve Pain for Infants

September 9, 2020 14:05:16

Research has shown that the alleviation of pain during an immunization procedure can improve the vaccine’s acceptance and also decrease the hesitancy of parents to vaccinate their children. Research on babies who are between 0 to 6 months shows that breastfeeding an infant during vaccine injections is an effective way of decreasing pain during routine immunizations.

Below, we look into how breast feeding helps to calm infants during these procedures.

The study discovered that children who were breastfed took a longer time to cry after the needle was introduced. It also ascertained that formula-fed and breast-fed infants recorded very short crying spans.

Breastfeeding seemed to relieve the pain with various factors combined such as skin-to-skin contact, sucking, rocking, warmth, the smell and sound of the infant’s mother. The endogenous opiates that are found in breast milk could also be an additional factor.

However, the pain-relieving effects of bottle feeding are more difficult to explain. The sweet taste of milk still remains a possibility though. The basis of this being several studies that looked into sweet-tasting solutions and discovered that providing sucrose (with or without healthy sucking) was linked to lesser pain in comparison with the use of pure water. Additionally, babies who ingested sucrose cried for a shorter period of time as compared to those who ingested sterile water.

The research findings also recorded that mothers were grateful for the feeding pain-alleviating method as well as the holding of their infants. This measure seemed to reassure the mothers. The Center for Disease Control adds to this, stating that a parent embracing their child during vaccination offers various benefits. Embracing the child in a comforting hold prevents them from moving their limbs during injections and also ensures the infant is not frightened, as they would be if they had been overpowered in order for the injection to be administered. This may motivate the parents to soothe their infant which allows the health care professional control of the limb and a clear shot. This however does not take into account instances where the health care professional may prefer having the child on the examination table when administering a vaccine.

The study recommends that this strategy be promoted as a practical pain-relief method and should be used by health professionals during the vaccine administration procedures. This applies to both formula-fed and breast-fed children.

Experts say such research that emphasizes natural contact between babies is exactly what biomedical companies like DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO) are comfortable with.

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