Bring back the binky, researchers say | Fit Pregnancy

Don't Pass on the Pacifiers

05.01.12 New study finds that pacifiers encourage breastfeeding, reversing long-held theories about the much-maligned binky.

A new study says it's time to bring back the binky (or paci, chewie or whatever it's called in your house), MSNBC.com reports.

We've long heard the advice from nursing experts about not using a pacifier in an effort to avoid nipple confusion in babies who are breastfed. In fact, experts also recommend not introducing a bottle until your baby is at least 1 month old so as not to hinder any breastfeeding success.

But according to MSNBC, a new study based on findings from the Oregon Health and Science University Doernbaecher Children's Hospital has proven them all wrong.

Nurses at the hospital "locked up pacifiers in the newborn nursery to improve their breastfeeding record even more. To everyone's surprise, they saw their breastfeeding rates drop as soon as the pacifiers were no longer readily available," MSNBC reports.

The study says 80 percent of babies born in the hospital were exclusively breastfed before the pacifier removal, according to MSNBC. After the lockdown, the rate fell to 70 percent.

Health experts and moms have been debating the use of pacifiers for a long time, with pros outweighing the cons in several areas.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends pacifiers to help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). However, Crib Notes previously reported on a study that found a possible link between speech delays and prolonged use of a pacifier or thumb-sucking. A pacifier is fine, according to the study, just don't let your child use one for long stretches.

— Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor.

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