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Holding a newborn is a memorable experience – and it has other advantages. The instinctual bonding between mother and child can provide analgesic or pain-relieving benefits to the infant, reports Dr. Franklin Chiao, assistant professor of clinical anesthesiology.

Dr. Chiao writes about non-pharmacologic methods of pain control for newborns in the latest issue of the Society for Pediatric Pain Medicine (SPPM) News. He discusses the research on pain control methods that are often overlooked, including non-nutritive sucking, consuming milk or sweet solutions, and skin-to-skin contact.

“Non-pharmacologic techniques of neonatal pain assessment are varied in mechanism and simple to use,” writes Dr. Chiao. Research indicates the techniques can help improve neonatal comfort following a number of specific procedures.