Pain is relieved in human newborns when they are exposed to odors from their mother's milk. - GreenMedInfo Summary
The calming effect of a maternal breast milk odor on the human newborn infant.
Meat Sci. 2009 Jun 16. Epub 2009 Jun 16. PMID: 19010360
Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Unit of Basic Medical Sciences, Course of Medical and Dental Sciences, Nagasaki University, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 1-12-4 Sakamoto, Nagasaki 852-8523, Japan.
We examined the effects of the odors from mother's milk, other mother's milk and formula milk on pain responses in newborns undergoing routine heelsticks. Forty-eight healthy infants were assigned to four groups, an own mother's breast milk odor group (Own MM), another mother's breast milk odor group (Other MM), a formula milk odor group (Formula M) and a control group. To assess infant distress in response to the heelsticks, their crying, grimacing and motor activities were recorded during the experiment as behavioral indices of the pain response. After the heelstick, the behavioral indices of the Own MM group were lower than those of other groups. By contrast, the Other MM and Formula M groups showed no significant changes compared with the Control group. We also measured salivary cortisol concentration as a biochemical index in Control and Own MM infants before and after heelstick. After the heelstick, the level of salivary cortisol was significantly increased in Control infants, but not in Own MM infants. These results suggest that pain is relieved in human newborns when they are exposed to odors from their mother's milk.