During their very early stages of life, both healthy and ill infants go through painful routine medical procedures. Exposure to repeated painful stimuli early in life is known to have short and long-term adverse effects, particularly if the infant's pain is not well managed. The purpose of this integrative literature review was to investigate the effectiveness of breastfeeding on relieving acute pain in infants undergoing routine painful medical procedures compared to other non-pharmacologic interventions. A literature search was conducted using Cumulative Index to Nursing Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), MEDLINE, APA PsychINFO, Cochrane Database, and Google Scholar databases. The final number of articles meeting inclusion criteria and analyzed in this review was 10. The non-pharmacological interventions for reducing pain responses in infants that were compared to breastfeeding for effectiveness included the use of sweet tasting solutions, music therapy, and environmental comfort measures. Overall, findings indicated that breastfeeding was most effective in reducing pain responses among infants compared to other non-pharmacologic interventions. Further, breastfeeding in conjunction with the other non-pharmacologic interventions provided added benefit to pain reduction. Findings suggest that breastfeeding is a simple, non-pharmacologic intervention that can be used in clinical nursing practice to reduce the pain response of infants during minor medical procedures.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Martinez, Valerie


Butts, Michele


Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)


College of Nursing



Access Status

Campus Access

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Release Date