Effect of suckling on the peripheral sensitivity of full-term newborn infants

H M Abdulkader, Y Freer, S M Fleetwood-Walker, N McIntosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

BACKGROUND: Sucking may reduce the manifestations of pain in newborn infants.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of suckling on the threshold for peripheral somatosensory responses.

Subjects and methods: Graded Von Frey filaments were applied to the heel to initiate peripheral somatosensory responses (withdrawal reflex and gross body movements) in term infants.

RESULTS: Dummy sucking increases the somatosensory threshold, but breast feeding had a more marked effect, increasing the threshold of the flexion withdrawal reflex (p<or=0.002) and the threshold for gross body movements (p</=0.002).

CONCLUSION: Peripheral sensitivity of newborn infants is considerably reduced during sucking, particularly at the breast.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)F130-1
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood. Fetal and Neonatal Edition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Breast Feeding
  • Heel
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Movement
  • Pacifiers
  • Pain Threshold
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Posture
  • Reflex
  • Sucking Behavior


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