The Effect of the Smell of Breast Milk and Non-Nutritious Sucking on Pain Behavioral Response and to First-Time Hepatitis B Vaccine in Term Newborns

The Open Nursing Journal 30 July 2020 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874434602014010141



The issue of Pain Management finds special significance in infants who are unable to verbally express pain. Studies have shown that the use of non-pharmacological pain control techniques can be effective in reducing neonatal pain. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of olfactory stimulation (with breast milk) and non-nutritive sucking (with a pacifier) on the physiological and behavioral responses in term neonates to the hepatitis B vaccine.


In this clinical trial, which was done in 2015 at the Nohom-e Dey Hospital of Torbat Heidariyeh, 90 eligible infants were randomly selected and divided into two intervention and one control groups. In the breast-milk odor group (n = 30), the neonates were exposed to the mother's odor during vaccination. In the non-nutritive sucking group (n = 30), a standard soft pacifier was used, whereas, in the control group (n = 30), no intervention was carried out. Data collection tools included demographic information forms and the Neonatal Pain Response Scale. Data were edited and analyzed using SPSS 20 software.


This study showed that there was a statistically significant difference between the mean scores of neonatal behavioral responses after intervention in the three groups (p <0.05). The mean behavioral response was 0.73 lower in the breast-milk odor group than in the control group, and the mean behavioral response in the non-nutritive sucking group was 0.6 lower than that of the control group.


The results of the study showed that both olfactory stimulations with breast milk and non-nutritive sucking have a positive impact on neonatal pain reduction, nearly equally.

Keywords: Breast milk odor, Non-nutritive sucking, Behavioral responses, Pain, Term baby, Physiological reactions.
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