Pacifier use and its relationship with early weaning in infants born at a Child-Friendly Hospital

Maria Emília de Mattos Soares, Elsa Regina Justo Giugliani, Maria Luiza Braun,
Ana Cristina Nunes Salgado, Andréa Proenço de Oliveira, Paulo Rogério de Aguiar

J Pediatr (Rio J) 2003;79(4):309-16


Pacifiers are widely used in many parts of the world, despite the fact that both the World Health Organization (1) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (2) advise against their use, especially with children who are being breastfed. Research carried out in Brazil into all of the state capitals with the exception of Rio de Janeiro, in October 1999, revealed that 53% of children less than one year old were using pacifiers (3).

Many studies have shown an association between the use of a pacifier and a shorter duration of maternal breastfeeding (4-13). The first study to be designed specifically to test this association was carried out in Pelotas, in the south of Brazil, by Victora et al. (7). In the study it was found that children who were still being breastfed at one month of life and who frequently used a pacifier had a 2.4 times greater chance of being weaned in between one and six months. This risk was reduced, but still significant (1.7 times), for children using a pacifier less often.

According to some authors (14), the “suction confusion” caused by the differences in suction techniques between a pacifier and the breast can interfere with successful breastfeeding. Furthermore, children who use a pacifier feed at the breast less often (7,8,10,13), which can interfere with maternal milk production.

Starting from the premise that bottles and pacifiers can be obstacles to successful breastfeeding, the World Health Organization, in conjunction with UNICEF, included not using bottles or pacifiers in maternity units with breastfed children in their “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” (1). As a result, Child-Friendly Hospitals (Hospitais Amigo da Criança), in addition to not using bottles or pacifiers in their maternity units, also advise mothers to avoid these practices after hospital discharge. There are no known studies investigating the practice of pacifier use and its relationship with early weaning of children born at Child-Friendly Hospitals. This article is intended to fill that gap.

A cikk teljes szövege megtalálható a Journal de Pediatria oldalán.