Dr. Shah and team

Many parents have experienced taking their newborn child to the doctor for a routine vaccination only to find their child in distress due to the needle prick. To understand how to better soothe their child, parents have expressed interest in pain relief strategies.

In a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) this week, Mount Sinai neonatologist Dr. Vibhuti Shah partnered with Professor Anna Taddio to compare various methods of education to alleviate pain.

“Vaccinations are a common cause of pain for babies but many parents are unaware that methods such as breastfeeding, sugar syrup and topical anesthetic may help soothe their child,” says Dr. Shah. “We took a look at the patient journey to see where we could empower parents with additional information on methods that could be helpful to their child.”

In order to facilitate the study, nurses from Sinai’s Mother-Baby Unit were instrumental in providing parents with information about and recruiting for the study.

Taking the results to the bedside, nurses will engage parents in meaningful conversation regarding infant pain management during vaccination and share information through a number of channels:

  • Videos using in-room patient televisions
  • Verbal education when performing painful procedures in hospital and encouraging parents to apply the techniques during baby’s vaccination
  • Updating the information in our Taking Care booklet used to prepare parents for discharge home

Parents at Sinai are now better equipped with pain relief strategies when attending appointments with their newborns.