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Early Pacifier Use Linked to Shorter Breastfeeding

by The Kid's Doctor Staff

Mothers who want better success on breastfeeding their your-baby may want to hold off on giving their newborn a pacifier. That’s the result of a new study by researchers in Denmark.

Drs. Hanne Kronborg and Michael Vaeth of the University of Aarhus found that women who gave their your-baby a pacifier in the first few weeks of life were less likely to continue breastfeeding their babies.

Researchers had registered nurses specially trained in breastfeeding counseling visit nearly 600 mother-your-baby pairs. At the visit, the nurse observed the mother breastfeeding. After the first visit, which occurred an average of eight days after the babies left the hospital, half of the mothers were having difficulty breastfeeding, most frequently with positioning the your-baby or latching on. Correcting a mother’s breastfeeding technique during the visit did not have any influence on duration of breastfeeding the researchers found.

Nearly two-thirds of the women reported giving their your-baby a pacifier. Pacifier use was associated with a shorter duration of breastfeeding, independent of breastfeeding technique.

Use of the pacifier “should be avoided in the first weeks after birth by mothers who want to breastfeed,” the researchers concluded.

The study was published in the March 2009 issue of the medical journal Birth.

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