How Are Effective Breastfeeding Technique and Pacifier Use Related to Breastfeeding Problems and Breastfeeding Duration?

Authors

  • Hanne Kronborg RN, MPH, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. 1Hanne Kronborg is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nursing Science at the Institute of Public Health; and 2Michael Væth is a Professor in the Department of Biostatistics at the Institute of Public Health, University of Aarhus, Aarhus C, Denmark.
      Hanne Kronborg, RN, MPH, PhD, Department of Nursing Science, Institute of Public Health, University of Aarhus, Høegh-Guldbergsgade 6A, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.
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  • and 1 Michael Væth PhD 2

    1. 1Hanne Kronborg is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nursing Science at the Institute of Public Health; and 2Michael Væth is a Professor in the Department of Biostatistics at the Institute of Public Health, University of Aarhus, Aarhus C, Denmark.
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  • Funding for this study was provided by the Danish Health Insurance Foundation, Copenhagen; the Lundbeck Foundation, Hellerup; and the Counties of Ribe and Ringkjobing in Denmark.

Hanne Kronborg, RN, MPH, PhD, Department of Nursing Science, Institute of Public Health, University of Aarhus, Høegh-Guldbergsgade 6A, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.

Abstract

Abstract: Background: Inconsistent findings leave uncertainty about the impact of pacifier use on effective breastfeeding technique. The purpose of this study was to investigate how breastfeeding technique and pacifier use were related to breastfeeding problems and duration of breastfeeding. Methods: Data were collected from the intervention group of a randomized trial in which health visitors followed up with mothers for 6 months after childbirth. The health visitors classified the breastfeeding technique at approximately 1 week after birth and repeated the observation if a correction was necessary. Effective technique included positioning, latch, sucking, and milk transfer. Data on breastfeeding problems and pacifier use were obtained from self-reported questionnaires. The study population included 570 mother-baby pairs with complete information on breastfeeding technique and pacifier use. The primary outcome was duration of exclusive breastfeeding. Results: One-half of the mothers showed ineffective breastfeeding technique at the first\ observation, most frequently ineffective position (61%) and latch (52%). In the unadjusted analysis, only sucking and milk transfer were associated with breastfeeding duration. In the adjusted analysis, ineffective technique was significantly associated with mothers reporting early breastfeeding problems, which thereby influenced the breastfeeding duration. Pacifier use had an independent negative impact on duration of breastfeeding. A single correction of the breastfeeding technique was not associated with duration or occurrence of problems. Conclusions: Observation of breastfeeding technique may help mothers in the stage of when they are establishing breastfeeding to avoid early and later problems, but breastfeeding technique is less useful in predicting breastfeeding duration. Use of a pacifier should be avoided in the first weeks after birth. (BIRTH 36:1 March 2009)

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