New Delhi: Mums giving newborn babies a cuddle seems to ease their pain from jabs, finds a recent study.
Toddlers are given sugary water before being administered an injection or taking a blood sample. But the sweetener has no effect on the degree of pain they feel.
British researchers believe the sugar merely serves as a distraction, and a cuddle from mum would work just as well, reports the Daily Mail.
The study focused on the heel prick test, for drawing blood, in the first few days of a baby`s birth, to screen for a range of threatening conditions including cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anaemia.
In a study of 59 newborns, half were given a drop of sugar solution ahead of the test, the others were given plain water.
The faces of those given sugar quickly relaxed, but tests showed their brains appeared to be registering just as much pain, says the Lancet journal.
Rebecca Slater, of the University College, London, said: "Our findings indicate that sucrose (sugar) is not an effective pain relief drug.
"This is especially important in view of the increasing evidence that pain may cause short and long-term adverse effects on infant neuro-development."
The findings show there is an urgent need for better painkillers for infants, added the researchers.