Breastmilk odor = pain relief?

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Breastmilk odor = pain relief?
Mon, 06-10-2013 - 11:15am

The Calming Effect of Maternal Breast Milk Odor on Premature Infants


To compare the effectiveness of maternal breast milk odor and formula milk odor in soothing premature infants undergoing heel lancing.
Materials and methods

Fifty preterm infants born between 32 weeks and 37 weeks gestation were randomly assigned into two groups. During heel lancing, we used formula milk odor for the first group and breast milk odor for the second group. A filter paper (containing either formula or breast milk) was placed near the infant's nose from 3 minutes prior to and up to 9 minutes after the heel blood sampling. The pain score was measured using premature infant pain profile (PIPP) score. We also evaluated crying duration and salivary cortisol prior to and after heel lancing.


After the heel lancing, the PIPP score was found to be significantly lower in the breast milk group than the formula milk group (5.4 compared to 9 with p < 0.001).Also, the level of salivary cortisol had significantly increased in the formula milk group, but not in the breast milk group (25.3 nmol/L compared to 17.7 nmol/L (p < 0.001).


Breast milk odor has analgesic effect in preterm newborn and can be used as a safe method for pain relief.

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