Advances in Neonatal Care
October 2011, Volume 11 Number 5 , p 312 - 318
This is the second of a 2-part series to provide an overview of our current level of knowledge related to nonpharmacological strategies to diminish the pain associated with commonly performed procedures in the NICU. In our first article we discussed the prevalence of repeated pain exposure in the NICU and the importance of nonpharmacological strategies specifically containment or facilitated tucking, swaddling, positioning, nonnutritive sucking, and sweet solutions. These strategies are generally nurse-driven and we believe their importance has been underutilized. In this article we will emphasize the importance of maternal presence as a mediator for pain relief. The efficacy of breastfeeding, maternal skin-to-skin care (often referred to as kangaroo care), and multisensorial stimulation such as auditory and olfactory recognition will be the primary focus of our discussion. In addition, although primarily mother-driven, these strategies are ultimately nurse-enabled, thus the importance of this connection cannot be under appreciated with respect to successful implementation in the NICU.