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Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2011 Winter;16(1):9-15.

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

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  • 1MSc in Community Health Nursing, (PHD student) Nursing & Midwifery Faculty, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.



Pain is a global health problem which exists from the birth to the last stage of the 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 out a non pharmacological method is necessary for pain relieving. The aim of this study was to compare the effect of oral sucrose, breastfeeding and combination of them on pain relief vaccination of less than 3 months of age infants with the first time vaccination in Tabriz.


In this quasi-experimental study, 120 under 3 months of age infants referred to Tabriz Health Centers in 2009. The eligible infants referred to the centers entered the study provided with entry criteria. They referred to the mentioned centers then entered the study and finally randomly have been put into four groups respectively; oral sucrose 25%, breastfeeding, combined method and control groups. In case groups, vaccination was implemented two minutes after the mentioned interventions. Therefore, NIPS (Neonatal Infant Pain Scale) was used in order 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.


The findings of the present study indicated that the mean of the pain scale was the lowest immediately after the vaccination in breastfeeding group, 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.


According to the findings of the present study, pain score and crying time was the lowest in breastfed neonates. Considering to the fact that breastfeeding is a natural, useful and free intervention and does not need any special facilities, using this method in pain management and control during this painful procedures for infants is suggested.


breastfeeding; infant; sucrose; vaccination pain

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