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Pediatrics – The BirthPlace / Well Baby Unit


Pain Free Newborn Care

Pain Free Newborn Care is a program designed to minimize the pain and discomfort associated with a pediatric patient’s hospital visit.

For newborns undergoing a circumcision, the following analgesics are recommended

  1. ELAMAX (lidocaine cream) applied to the penis about 30 minutes before the procedure

  2. Acetaminophen given orally before the procedure

  3. Buffered lidocaine (with bicarbonate added) administered for penile block

  4. Sucrose 12% oral solution given by syringe two to three minutes before the procedure

  5. Pacifier offered during the procedure (but thrown away before baby returns to parents)

  6. Ideally, baby should go back to parents and be held and breastfed after procedure

For newborns undergoing a blood draw or an IV insertion

  1. Babies are given sucrose 12% oral solution by syringe two to three minutes before the procedure

  2. During the procedure, a gloved finger is offered for the baby to suck on

  3. We attempt to get the baby back to the family or mother as soon as possible after a painful procedure so she can hold or breastfeed her baby

For newborns undergoing the heel stick associated with the newborn metabolic screen, we recommend

  1. Performing the heel stick while the baby is being held skin to skin

  2. Performing the heel stick while the baby is breastfeeding*

*Gray L, Miller LW, Philipp BL, Blass EM. Breastfeeding is analgesic in healthy newborns. Pediatrics 2002; 109(4): 590-593.


Call: 617.414.4363 or 617.414.6012
Fax: 617.414.3999


Boston Medical Center
Department of Pediatrics
The BirthPlace / Well Baby Unit
Menino Pavilion, 3 West
840 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118


Refer a Patient

Call: 617.414.4363 or 617.414.6012
Fax: 617.414.3999


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