Learn All About Tetanalgesia

Emma Colina · December 27, 2022
This content was reviewed and approved by the psychologist María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez on December 27, 2022
Tetanalgesia is breastfeeding's ability to heal wounds, reduce pain, and provide babies with all the comfort they need. Many pediatricians recommend it during a vaccination, treatment, or traumatic situation.

Tetalganesia has a curious name, as well as very curious effects. Tetanalgesia is a Spanish term that was coined recently to refer to all the health benefits of breastfeeding.

Since there’s no English term for “tetanalgesia” as of yet, we’ve decided to leave it in Spanish throughout this article for informative purposes. Keep reading to find out more about this concept below.

What’s tetanalgesia?

Women who are breastfeeding their babies should know that “tetanalgesia” does exist. It isn’t made up or anything like that… Breastfeeding is magical!

During their first year of life, babies depend 100% on their mothers. Many mothers have realized that, when they breastfeed their babies, all their troubles seem to go away. And we’re not only referring to the fact that they stop crying because they’re no longer hungry but also of physical pain.


Many women choose to breastfeed their babies to calm them down when they cry and avoid being “making a scene” at the doctor’s office, on the bus, or in a family gathering.

But what they don’t know is that, through this act of love, in addition to feeding their babies, they’re calming their pains, fears and traumas. That’s what tetanalgesia consists of.

Thus, this term is used to refer to breastfeeding’s pain-relieving properties, due to the calming effect that sucking their mother’s breast produce in babies (that’s why babies also calm down when they suck on a pacifier or bottle).

Many pediatricians defend and recommend it to mothers, mainly to first-time mothers, because it yields good results. When babies feel pain or are afraid or stressed, the best remedy for them is being breastfed.

The term tetanalgesia was coined by two pediatricians at a Madrid health center. This term is derived from the words “teta” (meaning “breast” in Spanish) and “analgesic” (referring to the healing powers of breastfeeding).

Babies are protected by their mother’s embrace, there’s no doubt about that. But they also feel at peace and feel less pain when they suck on their mother’s breast.

Learn All About Tetanalgesia

When babies suck, they release endorphins, which are related to well-being and a sense of peace. In addition, breast milk boosts the production of these hormones. Along with the feeling of fullness, your baby will feel much more at ease.

Tetanalgesia to calm babies

For example, when taking babies to the pediatrician to get vaccinated, the best way to prevent them from crying when they’re being vaccinated is to breastfeed them right when it’s happening. This way, they’ll barely notice what’s happening around them.

And, if they’ve already eaten or don’t want to feed, you can simply hug your baby and leave them on your lap to practice what’s known as “mother-analgesia.”

Remember that there’s no better medicine than a mother’s embrace! When you leave the pediatrician’s appointment, you can calm your baby down by breastfeeding. Although it seems magical, it isn’t.

This way, a vaccination, medical examination, blood draw, or a disease will be less traumatic, less painful, and even more enjoyed by parents.

Although some mothers opt for songs, toys, or videos when they enter the pediatrician’s office, it’s proven that the best way for your baby not to cry, or to cry less, is breastfeeding.

Learn All About Tetanalgesia

Tetanalgesia can also be a good technique for babies who don’t even let their pediatricians examine them, since they’ll be busy with another task that provides a sense of tranquility and protection, as they’re in their mother’s arms.


Tetanalgesia is a good reminder that breastfeeding isn’t only practical but also beneficial. It can relieve a baby’s pain, fear, or anxiety and also calms the mother’s nerves, stress, or concern for their baby’s well-being.

It doesn’t matter if other mothers, relatives, or friends tell you that you’re spoiling your baby and that it’ll be harder for you to stop breastfeeding. Just think of the many benefits of this practice. Also, your baby will be very happy in his or her first months of life!

Tetanalgesia: ¿en qué consiste?

  • García, E. J. (2015). Implementación de la Tetanalgesia. Revista Enfermería Docente.