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Breastfeeding and the Use of Pacifiers

Authors


Lennart Righard MD Department of Pediatrics, Lund University, University Hospital, S-20502 Malmö, Sweden

Abstract

Background:

This study was designed to test the hypothesis that incorrect sucking technique and pacifier use are factors contributing to breastfeeding failure.

Method:

The nursing patterns of 82 exclusively breastfeeding mother-infant pairs were observed 4 to 5 days postpartum on the maternity ward at University Hospital in Malmö, Sweden. The breastfeeding outcome and pacifier use was assessed by regular telephone contacts during a 4-month follow-up.

Results:

The breastfeeding rate at 4 months was 91 percent in the nonpacifier group and 44 percent in the pacifier group (p =0.03). An incorrect superficial nipple-sucking technique at the breast from the start combined with pacifier use resulted in early weaning in most cases.

Conclusion:

To promote successful breastfeeding and to reduce nursing problems, an incorrect sucking technique should be prevented or corrected, and the use of pacifiers should be avoided or restricted. (BIRTH 24:2, June 1997)

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