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In the early 1990’s, the World Health Organization and UNICEF recommended that pacifiers be avoided since they were seen as a deterrent to breastfeeding. A study done in Argentina put this to the test by offering pacifiers to the babies of 500 new mothers and comparing them to 500 other babies of new mothers who were not offered pacifiers. After 4 months, more that 75% of BOTH groups were exclusively breastfeeding. Offering a pacifier to a baby did not decrease the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding (J. Pediatr. 155:350-4, Sept 2009)

I hope that all our new families no longer worry about pacifiers. They are a great soothing aid in many situations and don’t have a negative effect on breastfeeding. As I have said before, breast milk is perfectly formulated for babies and we are going to encourage breastfeeding for as long as possible. So, a pacifier is one less thing to worry about; and remember that human babies thrive on human breast milk!

 

Contributed by Dr. Phil Dawson, West End Pediatrics