Skin to skin contact reduces pain… in mothers!

Some neonatal interventions for pain relief don’t seem to work in older subjects, sucrose for example doesn’t seem effective out of the neonatal period, a study from our Emergency Room showed no benefit of sucrose for bladder catheterisation in infants (Desjardins MP, et al. A randomized double-blind trial comparing the effect on pain of an oral sucrose solution versus placebo in children 1-3 months old needing bladder catheterization. CJEM. 2021;23(5):655-62).

A new publication, however, shows that skin-to-skin care of mother with her baby reduced the pain of perinatal repair after vaginal delivery (Zou Y, et al. Effect of early skin-to-skin contact after vaginal delivery on pain during perineal wound suturing: A randomized controlled trial. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2022;48(3):729-38). New mothers were randomized to have the baby in their arms during perineal repair or to have “standard care” where the infant was on an overhead heater during the repair.

The mothers’ pain scores were substantially lower in the skin-to-skin care group than the controls.

I’m sure the babies were happier too.

Image from UNICEF

About Keith Barrington

I am a neonatologist and clinical researcher at Sainte Justine University Health Center in Montréal
This entry was posted in Neonatal Research and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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