If you give birth to a premature infant who is subjected to a set of medical tests, you should know that a drop of sugar water might ease your infant’s pain.
In a report that was published in the March 2012 issue of Pediatrics, University of Sao Paulo researchers randomly assigned 113 babies who were born prematurely to have either breast milk or sugar water immediately before they received a heel stick, which is a blood test that typically is performed on infants who are born prematurely. Researchers found that 60 percent of the babies scored a “minimal” pain rating based on facial expressions, heart rate and blood-oxygen measurements when they were given sugar water as opposed to 25 percent of the babies who were given breast milk.
If you are concerned about testing that’s done on your child, you can ask your doctor to provide the baby with sugar water, perhaps dropped on a pacifier, during tests. Hospitals typically keep it on hand.