Early pacifier use linked to shorter breastfeeding

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Mothers who want to breastfeed their baby successfully may want to hold off on giving their infant a pacifier, new research from Denmark shows.

Nearly two-thirds of the women reported giving their 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 conclude.

SOURCE: Birth, March 2009.

- Use of dummies has long been identified as something that works against successful breastfeeding. The World Health Organisation and UNICEF 10 Steps to Breastfeeding advise against dummy use for the reasons stated in the study above.

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting.