High quality research is showing babies exposed to pain as new-born’s or infants have altered long term pain responses to those who aren’t exposed when they are older. Unfortunately stopping your baby experiencing pain can be unavoidable or be the greater of two evils e.g. newborn testing, 6 week immunizations. But we as parents can help. Evidence shows that babies that are getting skin to skin cuddles and breastfed prior and during the painful procedure will have a lower stress response, shorter crying duration and lower stress hormones than those babies that do not. This is more effective then medication even! So if you are soon to be a new mother ensure you are getting skin to skin and breastfeeding (likely to be just initiating) at birth whilst your baby has their vitamin K injection. When you take them for their 6 week and 3 month immunizations set yourself up to provide a cuddle (skin to skin ideally- try having a shirt that you can unbutton so your baby can snuggle in or you can give a breast feed to) and let your GP or practice nurse know the reason why. They can review the literature that supports this practice via the Cochran library or can get in touch and I will happily discuss the evidence further.
Below is a lovely summary that was created by professionals who are passionate at improving new-born babies pain experiences to help set them up for a happier future.