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An Pediatr (Barc). 2009 Oct;71(4):310-3. doi: 10.1016/j.anpedi.2009.06.023. Epub 2009 Sep 16.

[Analgesic effect of breastfeeding when taking blood by heel-prick in newborns].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Hospital de Basurto, Bilbao, Vizcaya, España.



To compare the analgesic effectiveness of breastfeeding when taking blood by the heel-lance procedure in healthy newborns, as opposed to other procedures.


We studied 228 term infants from the Maternity Unit of our Hospital. The study was developed in two consecutive phases. In the first stage, 150 newborns were distributed into three randomised groups, the first group (50 newborns) did not receive any specific analgesic intervention; the second and third groups (50 newborns) received non-nutritive sucking-placebo or non-nutritive sucking-24% sucrose respectively. In the second phase, 78 newborns participated, and the blood was taken during breast-feeding. The results on a discomfort scale were compared with those obtained in the rest of examined analgesic procedures.


The group that received analgesia with breast-feeding showed a score on the discomfort scale of 0'62 and an average time of crying of 0'19s. The comparative analysis of the results obtained during breastfeeding, as opposed to the rest of procedures, showed that breast-feeding is the best analgesic option, with a reduction in the discomfort of 51% and of 98% in the time of crying (P<0,001).


Breast-feeding during the blood test by heel-prick procedure represents the most effective analgesic method. A containment procedure along with non-nutritive sucking is the analgesic method of choice in the newborn that does not receive maternal lactation.

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