Skin-to-skin contact is analgesic in healthy newboms

Larry Gray, Lisa Watt, Elliott M. Blass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

275 Scopus citations


Objectives. To determine whether skin-to-skin contact between mothers and their newborns will reduce the pain experienced by the infant during heel lance. Design. A prospective, randomized, controlled trial. Setting. Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts. Participants. A total of 30 newborn infants were studied. Interventions. Infants were assigned randomly to either being held by their mothers in whole body, skin-toskin contact or to no intervention (swaddled in crib) during a standard heel lance procedure. Outcome Measures. The effectiveness of the intervention was determined by comparing crying, grimacing, and heart rate differences between contact and control infants during and after blood collection. Results. Crying and grimacing were reduced by 82% and 65%, respectively, from control infant levels during the heel lance procedure. Heart rate also was reduced substantially by contact. Conclusion. Skin-to-skin contact is a remarkably potent intervention against the pain experienced during heel stick in newborns. hu-man newborns, pain, heel lance, skin-to-skm contact, kangaroo care, crying, grimacing, heart rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-111
Number of pages2
Issue number1 II
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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    Gray, L., Watt, L., & Blass, E. M. (2000). Skin-to-skin contact is analgesic in healthy newboms. Pediatrics, 105(1 II), 110-111.