Neonatology pp 365-381 | Cite as

Neonatal Pain: Neurophysiology, Recognition, Prevention, and Management with Nonpharmacological Interventions

Reference work entry


Evidence indicates that the experience of pain begins in the second trimester of pregnancy, well before the third and last trimester of pregnancy human gestation: thus preterm babies can perceive pain. When babies are born preterm, they undergo painful experiences that should be avoided. These experiences can result in important short-term stress responses as well as long-term effects on development. Pharmacological agents should be used to alleviate extensive pain from surgery, but most pain is from daily procedures. Decreasing the number of procedures or clustering the procedures is the first step to overcome it. Also several non-pharmacological interventions supported by strong evidence, such as sensorial saturation, can be used by nursing staff and, more importantly, by parents.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neonatal Intensive Care UnitSiena University HospitalSienaItaly
  2. 2.School of NursingMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Departments of Pediatrics, Psychology and NeuroscienceDalhousie University School of NursingHalifaxCanada
  4. 4.Centre for Pediatric Pain ResearchDalhousie University School of Nursing and IWK Health CentreHalifaxCanada
  5. 5.School of Nursing, Centre for Pediatric Pain Research, Maternal-Newborn ProgramDalhousie University, IWK Health CentreHalifaxCanada

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