"Parents come to us looking for advice," Phillipi said. "Our hope in publicizing this study is to stimulate a conversation about the topic, especially as many hospitals are thinking of removing pacifiers to become Baby Friendly."
Dr. Richard Schanler, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics' breast-feeding section, noted that the study did not offer information about how newborns were comforted who did not receive pacifiers or how hospital staff members were educated about this issue during the research.
"You cannot draw conclusions to change health care practices from this type of study," said Schanler, also associate chairman of the department of pediatrics at Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, in New Hyde Park.
Phillipi acknowledged that the study's results are difficult to apply to individual cases, but "we're really hoping to bring this conversation to a different level . . . so we're able to give parents the best evidence possible. Our overall goal is to improve breast-feeding rates . . . we know it's the best nutrition for babies."
Research presented at scientific meetings is considered preliminary because it hasn't yet been peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal.
The U.S. Office on Women's Health has more about breast-feeding.
SOURCES: Laura Kair, M.D., resident in pediatrics, Oregon Health & Science University Doernbecher Children's Hospital, Portland; Carrie Phillipi, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pediatrics, and medical director, Mother-Baby Unit, Oregon Health & Science University Doernbecher Children's Hospital; R
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