Pain & Stress on the Developing Brain

There is now a wealth of research and evidence not only demonstrating that neonates experience pain but, they are extremely vulnerable to the effects of pain and stress as well. Pain and distress have been linked to adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in premature infants, which have long standing effects into childhood and adulthood. The presentation will review physiology of pain, the effects of pain and stress on the central nervous system, short and long-term sequelae as well as current recommendations for pain prevention and minimization


1. Describe two physiologic and two behavioral pain or stress responses in the premature infant. 2. Explain two potential changes to the premature brain with exposure to stress and pain. 3. Identify three possible long-term effects from exposure to stress and pain in the NICU.

Total CE: 1.5

NCC Code NNP 2 or 7 = 1.5

NCC Code NIC 2 or 7 = 1.5

NCC Code LRN 3 or 7 = 1.5

Rx = 0.2

*This presentation was included in the Small Baby Care Specialist® Program

Your Instructor

Karin Mitchell
Karin Mitchell

Karin Mitchell, MA, CCC-SLP, CNT, CLE is a highly respected Speech Language Pathologist specializing in the care and treatment of pediatric feeding and swallowing, developmental care of the medically fragile infant and child, and pediatric traumatic brain injury. Her love of teaching and helping others drives her to create and deliver fun and empowering continuing education courses that focus on building the participant’s clinical analysis and therapeutic effectiveness. Expertise includes developmental care in the NICU, developmentally appropriate feeding, pediatric feeding and swallowing analysis and treatment, enhancing decision making and clinical analysis, breast feeding the medically fragile infant and child, and developmental milestones supporting feeding skill acquisition.

Karin serves as a lead therapist for the NICU and Feeding Teams at CHOC Children’s Hospital in Orange, CA. With a clinical practice formed by a strong theory base in NDT and SI therapies, Karin is also NOMAS trained and holds a specialty certification in VitalStim.

A dedicated leader, Karin devotes much of her time to the support and development of clinicians, serving as a mentor committed to building therapist's skills in clinical analysis and therapeutic effectiveness with medically fragile patients. She is a strong advocate for her patients and their families and speaks at local associations, community centers, local universities, and school districts to support medically fragile infants and children.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts as soon as you enroll. You will have access to this course (videos) for two months. Please be sure to download lecture handouts for ongoing access to the content presented. You must complete and submit the Evaluation at the end of the course to receive CE.
When does the course start and finish? How can I communicate any questions, comments, or feedback?
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