So I’m sitting here, skimming headlines on my usual news sites, and I see this one “Surprising Study Finds That Babies Feel Pain Like Adults“. I thought it was satire! I clicked, expecting to get a good laugh, and what do I find? It’s for real! Citing this research, the article talks about how there is now proof that babies feel pain just like grown-ups. Not only that, but their threshold for pain is lower than an adult.
Am I crazy for thinking it’s crazy that this is news? I wonder how much money they spent on the research for this, when they could have just asked any parent. I mean, really. I remember when each of my daughters had their heel pricked for whatever that heel prick is for on the same day they’re born. Why the hell else would they cry when that happens other than it hurts?
I had a great-aunt who was infamous for pinching sleeping babies so she could pick them up to comfort them. As in, my mom found bruises on my brother when he was a baby after said aunt “just wanted to peek” at him sleeping in another room, and when my mom responded to his crying, she found him in the aunt’s arms. This wouldn’t have been a successful strategy if babies didn’t feel pain.
The problem, though, with this now being officially proven in research, is that more than half of days-old infants undergoing surgery are not given any type of pain medication. Previously, with the apparently common (but stupid) belief that babies didn’t feel pain the way we did, this was acceptable… but now what?
I don’t know the answer to that question, and I guess the study was important because it brought this issue to light… but seriously, how can anyone call this surprising?