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Researchers question pulling plug on pacifiers
Date:4/29/2012

Kair and Phillipi analyzed feeding data on 2,249 infants born between June 2010 and August 2011. Results showed that the rate of exclusive breastfeeding on the mother-baby unit decreased significantly after pacifiers were restricted from 79 percent of infants in July to November 2010 to 68 percent in January to August 2011.

In addition, the proportion of breastfed infants receiving supplemental formula increased from 18 percent before the policy was changed to 28 percent afterward. The percentage of infants fed only formula remained statistically unchanged during the study period.

"There is a great deal of energy nationally as well as internationally in support of increasing the number of Baby-Friendly Hospitals," said Dr. Kair, pediatric resident at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital. "Taken together, the 10 steps improve exclusive breastfeeding rates in the hospital. However, the effect of pacifier use on initiation and duration of exclusive breastfeeding has not been well-established in the medical literature.

"Our goal with publicizing this data is to stimulate conversation and scientific inquiry about whether there is sufficient evidence to support the universal recommendation of not offering pacifiers to breastfeeding infants in the first few days to weeks of life," Dr. Kair added. "This subject poses an additional dilemma for parents and pediatric providers as pacifier use is associated with a decreased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and the AAP recommends using a pacifier for sleep after breastfeeding is established."


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Contact: Susan Stevens Martin
ssmartin@aap.org
847-434-7131
American Academy of Pediatrics
Source:Eurekalert

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