Pacifier Use When Breastfeeding

January 8, 2019 by: Pediatrics for Parents staff

New moms who elect to breastfeed are told not to give their babies pacifiers during the first few weeks of life. The reasoning behind this recommendation is that the pacifier interferes with the successful establishment of breastfeeding.

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) publication Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding recommends new breastfed infants not use a pacifier or artificial nipple the first few weeks of life. This recommendation is based on four observational studies published before 1998.

A review of two recent studies with over 1,300 mother-infant pairs found that “…pacifier use in healthy term breastfeeding infants before and after lactation is established does not reduce the duration of breastfeeding up to four months of age.” This finding may surprise many parents who receive the “traditional” advice that pacifier use may interfere with the establishment of breastfeeding.

These data suggest that early pacifier use doesn’t interfere with breastfeeding success. The decision on pacifier use is up to the parents.

Article Reference:

Cochrane Review, 08/30/16