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No more tears? Maternal involvement during the newborn screening examination.BACKGROUND: Babies often show signs of discomfort and distress by crying during the neonatal screening examination (NSE). The authors hypothesized that supporting the baby with maternal participation may reduce infant crying during NSE. The objective of this study was to document incidental infant crying during NSE, before and after training residents, on maternal involvement and infant comfort techniques to help. METHODS: A total of 20 NSEs of normal newborn babies by pediatric residents were observed (video-recorded) following informed consent of the doctor and the baby's mother. The examining doctors were then taught how to use maternal participation and developmental care (MPDC) comfort techniques to support the baby during NSE. Mothers were shown how to focus on their baby's needs by supporting the baby's head (preventing atonic neck reflexes) and, if necessary, providing nonnutritive sucking to the baby and an encouraging, repetitive low-tone voices to sooth the baby. A further 14 NSEs on different babies were video-recorded using these techniques. The video recordings were analyzed by independent observers for total length of crying and duration of crying during specific components of the NSE. Mothers in both groups were given a questionnaire to assess their opinions of the NSE. RESULTS: The median length of crying was significantly longer in the pre-MPDC group (93.5 seconds; range 0-198 seconds) compared with the post-MPDC infants (0 seconds; range 0-123 seconds; P = .001). Only 1 of 20 infants in the pre-MPDC did not cry during NSE compared with 8 of 14 babies in the post-MPDC group. CONCLUSION: Newborn infants cry less and mothers were more satisfied with NSEs when shown simple support and comfort techniques for their babies.