The effect of breastfeeding, oral sucrose and combination of oral sucrose and breastfeeding in infant’s pain relief during the vaccination

Mohammad Hassan Sahebihagh, Mina Hosseinzadeh, Asghar Mohammadpourasl, Ahmad Kosha


  • BACKGROUND: Pain is a global health problem which exists from birth to the last stages of our life. It has been proven that infants are able to feel the painful stimulus. Infants routinely experience the pain in the hospitals especially during the vaccination procedure. Therefore, finding a non pharmacological pain relieving method is necessary. The aim of this study was to compare the pain relieving effect of oral sucrose, breastfeeding and combination of them during the first vaccination of infants with less than 3 months of age.
  • METHODS: In this quasi-experimental study, 120 infants under 3 months of age who referred to Tabriz Health Centers in 2009 were categorized randomly in four groups; 25%oral sucrose, breastfeeding, combined method and control groups. In the case groups, vaccination was implemented two minutes after the mentioned intervention. Neonatal Infant Pain Scale (NIPS) was used to determine the pain score at 0, 5 and 10 minutes after the vaccination. The duration of the infants’ crying and pulse rate was also measured. The data were analyzed using the SPSS software and statistical chi-square, ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis tests.
  • RESULTS: The findings of the present study indicated that in breastfeeding group the mean pain score was the lowest immediately after the vaccination, but this difference was significant only in breastfeeding and control groups (p = 0.007). The minimum crying time was 66.6(32.62) seconds in breastfeeding group and the maximum time was 126.26(46.15) seconds in control group. The ANOVA test results showed that all the conducted interventions made a significant reduction of crying time in comparison with the control group. The ANOVA also showed that none of the above interventions had any effect on preventing from the increase of the following tachycardia.
  • CONCLUSIONS: According to the findings of the present study, the lowest pain score and crying time was in breastfed neonates. Considering the fact that breastfeeding is a natural, useful and free intervention and does not need any special facility, this method is suggested in pain management and control during painful procedures for infants.
  • KEY WORDS: Infant, vaccination, pain, sucrose, breastfeeding.

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