The new study by the British and Canadian scientific teams of newborns and their reaction to pain claims that babies that were held by their parent have lower brain response to pain. The effect was further amplified when the contact was made through bare skin. It is not clear whether lower activity correlates to decreased feeling of pain, but it reiterates the importance of physical contact between an infant and their parent. The study enrolled 27 infants ranging from newborn to 90 day old babies.
- Being held by a parent with skin-to-skin contact reduces how strongly a newborn baby’s brain responds to a painful medical jab.
- The brains of the babies that remained in the cot or incubator also reacted less strongly to the pain than those held in clothing.
- The study was funded by was funded by the Medical Research Council (UK) and the International Association for the Study of Pain.
“In the current study, the babies’ brain responses were not only dampened in the skin-to-skin group, but also followed a different neural pathway.”