Does giving a baby a pacifier interfere with breastfeeding? Probaby not! In fact, this study shows that taking away a pacifier may decrease the rate of breastfeeding.
According to a study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies, researchers from the Oregon Health & Science University monitored data on babies born in a hospital which implemented a strict no-pacifier policy.
Nurses were required to enter a code and a patient’s name in order to access them, but only in special emergencies, such as for babies who were undergoing procedures.
For the study, the feeding data of more than 2,200 babies born between June 2010 and August 2011 were analyzed. The pacifier policy was implemented in December of 2010.
The researchers found that the rate of mothers exclusively breastfeeding fell from 79 percent to 68 percent after the hospital adopted the no-pacifier policy. The proportion of infants receiving supplemental formula increased from 18 percent to 28 percent after the implementation of a no-pacifier policy. These results show that what appaers to be simple isn't always that simple.
Taking away a pacifier in order to increase breastfeeding may actually achieve the opposite effect and decrease breastfeeding instead of increasing it.