A Parent’s Touch Can Reduce Pain Signaling in the Baby Brain

Redactie, ‘A Parent’s Touch Can Reduce Pain Signaling in the Baby Brain’, https://www-technologynetworks-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.technologynetworks.com/neuroscience/news/amp/a-parents-touch-can-reduce-pain-signaling-in-the-baby-brain-340838, Technology Networks Limited via UCL News (Sep 25, 2020)

We have found when a baby is held by their parent, with skin-on-skin contact, the higher-level brain processing in response to pain is somewhat dampened. (…) While we cannot confirm whether the baby actually feels less pain, our findings reinforce the important role of touch between parents and their newborn babies. (…) The slightly delayed response was dampened if there was skin contact with their mother, which suggests that parental touch impacts the brain’s higher level processing. The pain might be the same, but how the baby’s brain processes and reacts to that pain depends on their contact with a parent.


Jones L, Laudiano‐Dray MP, Whitehead K, et al. The impact of parental contact upon cortical noxious‐related activity in human neonates. Eur J Pain, 2020. doi: 10.1002/ejp.1656