home
RSS
Research questions impact of pacifiers on disrupting breast-feeding
April 30th, 2012
12:05 PM ET

Research questions impact of pacifiers on disrupting breast-feeding

Pacifiers can soothe agitated infants, but some experts - including those at the World Health Organization (WHO) - discourage pacifier use in the first six months of life because of concerns that it may interfere with breast-feeding, widely seen as the best way to feed a newborn.

New research, however, casts doubt on the notion that pacifier use disrupts breast-feeding. In an analysis of feeding patterns among 2,249 infants in a single maternity ward over a 15-month period, researchers found the proportion of infants who were exclusively breast-fed dropped from 79% to 68% after pacifier use was restricted in the ward.

Meanwhile, the proportion of infants who needed formula in addition to breast-feeding jumped from 18% to 28% after the change in policy, according to the preliminary results of the study, which were presented today at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, in Boston.

"We were surprised - even disappointed - to find that our exclusive breast-feeding rates went down and supplemental formula feedings went up," says Carrie Phillipi, M.D., senior author of the study and an associate professor of pediatrics at Oregon Health & Science University, in Portland.

Health.com: Painless breast-feeding, a motherhood myth

The conventional wisdom is that pacifier use creates "nipple confusion" in newborns, says Pete Richel, M.D., chief of pediatrics at Northern Westchester Hospital, in Mt. Kisco, New York, who was not involved with the study.

The theory is that infants suckle their mother's nipple differently than they do a bottle or pacifier, and may have difficulty latching on to the mother if they're given too much exposure to artificial nipples.

In addition, the body produces breast milk according to demand, so frequently giving infants a pacifier may in some cases compromise the mother's milk supply, Phillipi says.

Health.com: Women who delay returning to work breast-feed longer

Prohibiting the use of pacifiers and artificial nipples is one of the 10 steps for encouraging breast-feeding that hospitals in the United States must take to earn a "baby-friendly" designation from the WHO and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

As part of its efforts to qualify for this baby-friendly status, the Doernbecher Children's Hospital at OHSU curtailed the use of pacifiers in its mother-baby unit in December 2010. After that date, the hospital required nurses and doctors to sign pacifiers out and use them only for "medically appropriate reasons," such as when a baby undergoes a painful surgical procedure or is withdrawing from drugs the mother took while pregnant.

The policy change provided Phillipi and her colleagues with a handy way of assessing before-and-after changes in pacifier use and breast-feeding, but their analysis lacks the rigor of a carefully designed and controlled study.

For instance, the hospital allowed visitors to bring their own pacifiers into the mother-baby unit, which is specially designed to accommodate mothers, infants, and family members. The researchers have no way of knowing how many outside pacifiers were brought it, or how often the infants used them.

Health.com: Pregnancy advice examined

Moreover, the analysis didn't take into account the mothers' demographic profiles and the hospital's staffing levels, in particular the availability of doctors and nurses to give breast-feeding advice, Phillipi says.

Despite these weaknesses, the findings add another wrinkle to the already confusing recommendations for pacifier use in newborns. In contrast to the WHO, which discourages all pacifier use in the first six months of life, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends giving babies pacifiers as they fall asleep beginning at the one-month mark, because this practice has been linked with a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

"It's very logical to think that pacifiers might interfere with breastfeeding, but there isn't really strong evidence that pacifiers are the problem, and they do turn out to be beneficial for reducing the risk of SIDS," Phillipi says. "Maybe we could approach mothers and their infants on a more individual basis… We can't make blanket recommendations about complex things."

Copyright Health Magazine 2011


soundoff (1,060 Responses)
  1. 포항출장마사지

    May I simply just say what a relief to discover a person that really understands what they're discussing on the internet. You certainly know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More and more people ought to read this and understand this side of the story. It's surprising you are not more popular because you most certainly have the gift.

    https://anma2travistamn476.page.tl/Don-h-t-Make-This-Silly-Mistake-With-Your-2623542523B2623546373B2623526363B2623511093B2623475603B2623493243B2623516483B.htm

    June 29, 2021 at 20:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. www.pharmaceptica.com

    tadalafil goodrx https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 29, 2021 at 21:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. casino trực tuyến

    Xoilac Tv Thẳng Soccer ku betĐội tuyển futsal Việt Nam đã có một trận đấu đồng ý được trước đối thủ đầy mức độ mạnh Lebanon. Kết quả Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu vs Bình Phước thời điểm hôm nay 18h00 ngày 5/5, Hạng nhất nước Việt Nam.

    https://questiontime.info/detail/lich-thi-dau-bong-da-afc-champions-league-15446.html

    June 30, 2021 at 01:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. 먹튀검증

    Very good article! We are linking to this particularly great post on our site. Keep up the good writing.

    https://casino0heaventest15.werite.net/post/2021/06/20/What-Does-a-Casino-Bet-Pays

    June 30, 2021 at 03:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. 경주출장

    Everything is very open with a clear clarification of the challenges. It was truly informative. Your website is useful. Many thanks for sharing!

    https://peatix.com/user/8208849

    June 30, 2021 at 10:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. buy weed near me

    Thanks again for the article post.Thanks Again. Much obliged.

    https://bit.ly/3jpGkpE

    June 30, 2021 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. soi keo bong da hom nay

    Trực Tiếp Soccer Thời Điểm Hôm Nay, Links Coi Soccer Trực Tuyến 24h keo bong daĐội tuyển chọn nước ta chỉ cần thiết một kết quả hòa có bàn thắng để lần loại hai góp mặt tại World Cup futsal. Nhưng, nhằm làm được như vậy

    https://naija5.com/

    June 30, 2021 at 13:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Cherise Buegler

    Citizen has an extensive collection of watches, mostly focusing on sports and also pilot watches. They are split right into five groups (Diving, Pilot, Performance, Ladies, Exec) which we'll take a more detailed consider below. Among Citizen's newest designs is the Nighthawk, which is limited to only 300 pieces. The creation of this watch adheres to the success of the previous year's Citizen Nighthawk bronze version, which sold out swiftly.

    https://www.awwwards.com/TonyRoyNoris/favorites

    June 30, 2021 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

Leave a Reply to Al Delpit


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.