NCBI ROFL: The calming effect of a maternal breast milk odor on the human newborn infant.

By ncbi rofl | September 6, 2011 7:00 pm

“We examined the effects of the odors from mother’s milk, other mother’s milk and formula milk on pain responses in newborns undergoing routine heelsticks. Forty-eight healthy infants were assigned to four groups, an own mother’s breast milk odor group (Own MM), another mother’s breast milk odor group (Other MM), a formula milk odor group (Formula M) and a control group. To assess infant distress in response to the heelsticks, their crying, grimacing and motor activities were recorded during the experiment as behavioral indices of the pain response. After the heelstick, the behavioral indices of the Own MM group were lower than those of other groups. By contrast, the Other MM and Formula M groups showed no significant changes compared with the Control group. We also measured salivary cortisol concentration as a biochemical index in Control and Own MM infants before and after heelstick. After the heelstick, the level of salivary cortisol was significantly increased in Control infants, but not in Own MM infants. These results suggest that pain is relieved in human newborns when they are exposed to odors from their mother’s milk.”

Photo: flickr/bbaunach

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  • Gregor Ronald

    Conditioning starts early!

  • http://www.catholiclab.net Ian

    Why should this have us rolling on the floor laughing? I think this is an amazing story – another reason why a baby needs its own mother, not someone else’s, or a man in a same sex relationship, and preferably not formula milk.

  • JJ

    Breastfeeding is normal and all babies should be allowed to nurse through all medical procedures. The first step is training medical practitioners to work on “babes in arms” instead of only knowing how to perform procedures with a baby on a table. And Ian, babies who have made their way to same sex couples can also be given human milk from human milk donors, wet nurses, or even the biological mother herself…it can be tricky and complicated, but if folks are really committed to optimal parenting, then it can be done!

  • JJ

    Ian, babies who have made their way to same sex couples can also be
    given human milk from human milk donors, wet nurses, or even the
    biological mother herself…it can be tricky and complicated, but if
    folks are really committed to optimal parenting, then it can be done

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/CZJIPHLXXHPFDXBKJRB22NZJDU Ruth Anne

    Nice way to stick in that bit of personal opinion and misinformation!!  As JJ said, it can be done, and yes, it is nice if mom can give her own milk to her own child, but the world doesn’t always work that way.  Who is rolling on the floor laughing?  

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About ncbi rofl

NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl

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