The first hours of life can be rough. So for years newborns in the hospital were given pacifiers to calm and quiet them—with many breast-feeding advocates worrying the newborns would get used to the artificial nipple and be less inclined to take to the breast.
But never fear. A study finds that keeping kids from getting pacifiers did not help later breast-feeding. In fact, it looks like this hindered the kids eventually becoming exclusively breast-fed.
The study followed more than 2,000 infants born over the course of about a year. When pacifiers were prohibited, surprisingly, fewer babies were breast-fed exclusively while in the hospital and more received supplemental formula. The findings were presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting. [Laura Kair and Carrie Phillipi, "Increase in Supplemental Formula Feeds Observed Following Removal of Pacifiers from a Mother Baby Unit"]
The World Health Organization recommends breast-feeding babies exclusively for six months and then partially until age two. So for those early hours, a pacifier might be just what the doctor—or maternity ward nurse—ordered.
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]