Sucking Technique and Its Effect on Success of Breastfeeding

Authors

  • Lennart Righard MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Lennart Righard is in the Department of Pediatrics, University of Lund, Malmö General Hospital, Malmö, Sweden, and Margaret Alade is in the Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
      Address correspondence to Dr. Lennart Righard, Department of Pediatrics, Malmö General Hospital, S-21401 Malmö, Sweden.
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  • Margaret O. Alade RN, BSC, MS

    1. Lennart Righard is in the Department of Pediatrics, University of Lund, Malmö General Hospital, Malmö, Sweden, and Margaret Alade is in the Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
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Address correspondence to Dr. Lennart Righard, Department of Pediatrics, Malmö General Hospital, S-21401 Malmö, Sweden.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: We investigated the prognostic value of sucking technique (faulty vs correct) during the first week after birth in relation to the long-term success of breastfeeding. At discharge from the maternity ward, 82 healthy mother-infant pairs were observed for assessment of breastfeeding technique and followed for four months by regular telephone checkups. Correct sucking technique was defined as the infant having a wide-open mouth, with the tongue under the areola, and expressing milk from the breast by slow, deep sucks; faulty technique was defined as superficial nipple sucking. The study population was divided into three groups: one in which faulty sucking technique was corrected when observed (n = 29), one with faulty but uncorrected technique (n = 25), and a control group with a correct technique (n = 28). At the four-month follow-up assessment, the faulty but uncorrected group was characterized by a greater proportion of mothers with breastfeeding problems and early cessation of breastfeeding than the other two groups. Regular use of a pacifier (>2 hrs/day) was more common among those with breastfeeding problems.

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