Reduce pain during painful procedures with breastfeeding


 There are sufficient reasons to believe breastfeeding or feeding breast milk provides pain relief for babies during painful procedures such as immunizations and blood work. Breastfeeding involves:

  • the presence of a person who cares for the baby
  • holding the baby closely
  • skin-to-skin contact with the caregiver
  • and offering breast milk that contains properties believed to reduce the pain experienced by the child

In the event that the mother is not available or is sick,
expressed breast milk could be offered to the child before painful
single procedures. In the event the breastmilk is not available, parents may wish to consider sugar water as an option as explained below.

“Breastfeeding is recognized as the norm for infant feeding and the first method of providing comfort and pain relief. For those not breastfeeding the use of sugar water can be used as directed in the video. Pacifiers create a risk to breastfeeding and oral health. It is important to discuss their use with a health care provider.”