The effect of breast milk odor on concentration percentage of oxygen saturation and respiratory rate in premature infants

Document Type : Original Quantitative and Qualitative Research Paper


1 Instructor of Pediatric Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 MS in NICU Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Associated Professor of Pediatrics, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

4 The expert responsible for the statistics and information technology management, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Background: establishing a regular respiratory condition in the infants is one of the basic considerations in NICU.  Newborns show noticeable breath alterations in response to even low concentrations of some fragrance.
Aim: determining the effect of breast milk odor on oxygen saturation and respiratory rate in premature infants.
Methods: In this four-group randomized clinical trial, 180 premature infants were  divided into three control groups and one experimental group of 45 neonates  in each.
Three groups received odors (breast milk, formula, distilled water odor) for 120 seconds twice daily for 7 days. Oxygensaturation was recorded before and after the exposure and respiratory rate was documented of 120 seconds stimulation, in the second 60-second of the stimulation. The research instrument was a questionnaire designed by the researcher and completed daily. Data were analyzed by repeated measure and Kruscul Wallis tests using SPSS software version 11.5.
Results: The infants were85 (47%) boys and 95 (53%) girsl with mean gestational age of 32.1± 3.1 weeks. Repeated measures analysis demonstrated that aromatherapy with breast milk odor alters SpO2 (p< 0.04) and decreases the time needed for O2 therapy (p< 0.04).   Comparing the mean respiratory rate of the understudied infants, there was a difference between the control groups with three others (p< 0.005).
Conclusion: exposure with the breast milk odor is a proper and simple nursing care which can reduce the need for O2 therapy trough its effect on O2 saturation and respiration in premature infants.


Main Subjects

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