About this Resource

This great video from Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario demonstrates to providers how to actually execute simple but effective strategies for reducing pain and distress for babies, parents and providers. Breastfeeding and skin to skin should start five minutes before the poke, and be done throughout the entire procedure.

All babies undergo newborn screening and jaundice testing in the first few days of life. Although these are blood tests involving painful heel pricks or venipuncture, research shows that breastfeeding and skin to skin care reduce pain and distress in newborns during painful procedures. Breastfeeding and skin to skin should begin at least 5 minutes prior to the poke to ensure mother and newborn are comfortable. Following ergonomic recommendations can reduce difficulties for clinicians; this video demonstrates the proper positioning for performing blood sampling while newborns are being breastfed or held skin to skin.

Here are a few quick tips:

  • If the mother is in bed:
    1. Ensure that the mother is seated upright as close as possible to the side of the bed where the clinician is standing.
    2. The clinician should stand as close as possible to the bed and raise the bed to an appropriate height
    3. The clinician should avoid forward bending, maintain a neutral posture, and have the work surface at the level of the baby’s foot.
    4. The clinician’s elbows should be bent at approximately 90 degrees and arms tucked at the side of the body as much as possible.
  • If the mother is seated:
    1. The clinician should also be seated close to, or in front of the newborn.
    2. Follow recommendations c and d from above.

Who This Is Meant For

This resource is meant for providers.

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