The Breastfeeding Answer Book

The Breastfeeding Answer Book, (Third Revised Edition), by Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, Julie Stock, MA, IBCLC. La Leche League International, Schaumburg, Illinois, 2003.


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This file contains two short extracts of text from The Breastfeeding Answer Book, which are related to circumcision.

Chapter 3: Breastfeeding Basics section "Normal Breastfeeding Patterns" subsection "In the Early Days"

page 27

Basic Information: Painful medical procedures can affect a baby's ability and willingness to feed in the early days.

When a baby undergoes a painful medical procedure, such as a heel stick, injection, spinal tap, or circumcision, he may shut down and be unreceptive to feedings until he is feeling better. Vigorous suctioning of a baby's mouth can also cause a sore throat and injured vocal cords, which can cause a baby to reject anything by mouthfor a time.

Research indicates, however, that if a baby is breastfed during a painful procedure, such as a heel stick, that breastfeeding is "a potent analgesic" that essentially eliminates the symptoms of pain, such as crying and grimacing, and prevents a marked rise in heart rate (Gray 2002). Previous research has found that three components of a potent reliever [sic] for the newborn are: skin-to-skin contact, suckling, and a sweet taste (Gray 2000). Breastfeeding provides all three.

Chapter 11 : Newborn Jaundice Section - "The Mother's Feelings"

page 259

Basic Information: Breastfeeding during heel sticks has been found to significantly reduce a newborn's pain.

When a baby undergoes a painful medical procedure, such as a heel stick, injection, spinal tap, or circumcision, he may shut down and be unreceptive to feedings until he is feeling better. Research indicates, however, that if a baby is breastfed during a painful procedure, such as a heel stick, that breastfeeding is "a potent analgesic" that essentially eliminates the symptoms of pain, such as crying and grimacing, and prevents a marked rise in heart rate (Gray 2002). Previous research has found that three potent pain relievers for the newborn are: skin-to-skin contact, suckling, and a sweet taste (Gray 2000). Breastfeeding provides all three.

References

  1. Gray, L. et al. Breastfeeding is an analgesic in healthy newborns. Pediatrics 2002; 109(4):590-93
  2. Gray, L. et al. Skin-to-skin contact is analgesic in healthy newborns. Pediatrics 2000; 105(1):e14

Citation:

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