A new study has found that the mother’s voice at the time of painful medical intervention for her prematurely born baby decreased the baby’s expression of pain. The findings of the study were published in the journal ‘Scientific Reports’. A baby born prematurely often has to be separated from its parents and placed in an incubator in intensive care. For several weeks, he or she will undergo routine medical procedures that can be painful, without being relieved by too many pharmaceutical painkillers, which are risky for his or her development. So how can we act for the good of the baby? A team from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), in collaboration with the Parini Hospital in Italy and the University of Valle d’Aosta, observed that when the mother spoke to her baby at the time of the medical intervention, the signs of the baby’s oxytocin level — the hormone involved in attachment and also linked to stress — increased significantly, which could attest to better pain management. These results demonstrate the importance of parental presence with premature babies, who are subjected to intense stress from birth, a presence that has a real impact on their well-being and development.