Should We Use Pacifier While Breastfeeding? The PROs and CONs

Does the use of pacifier while breastfeeding a good thing or a bad thing?

To further know the connection between pacifiers and breastfeeding, in this article,  we will focus on the why’s, and the pros and cons of making them work together.

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PROs

1. Keeping away from postpartum depression. 

In the case of mothers with postpartum depression or PPD, the use of pacifiers is such a huge help in teaching babies how to breastfeed.

 There were cases that instead of milk, blood comes out of the mom’s breast because the baby sucks it in a wrong way.

In contrast, some babies have a hard time getting breast milk also because they do not know how to properly get it.

By letting them practice their survival skill, pacifiers (dummy nipples) are being used. This then keeps mothers away from additional pain and discomfort.

2. Help in mother’s emotional stability. 

During the early stages (moments after giving birth), pacifiers helps calm and stabilize the emotional situation of mothers, as it lessens the crying moments of the little ones.

The result is that mothers are less agitated compared to when they hear their babies cry every other minute or so.

3. Develop nursing schedules. 

The use of pacifiers is also seen to help design the baby’s nursing schedule and frequency. Experts in natal care have suggested that nursing must be done in 10-12 times per day.

To make this feasible, you need to carefully schedule the use of pacifiers and breastfeeding, making sure to hit your daily target.

CONs

1. The Nipple Confusion Syndrome. 

Breastfeeding shall take place in the first six months after the birth of your little one. If you introduced the use of pacifiers in these months, the Nipple Confusion Syndrome (NCS) is more likely to occur.

NCS may result to insufficient amount of nutrients babies get from their mother’s milk simply because the preference of your baby changes—in some days, they would prefer being breastfed, or in other days they would just want to suck their pacifiers the whole day.

The end result is quite alarming: malnutrition.

2. Problems in teeth and ear. 

Dental and ear problems may develop as early as six (6) months. We know this already as the consequences when we use pacifiers excessively, not moderately and in an imperfect timing.

However, in this case, dental and ear problems may be experienced in an earlier age if we use it like three to six months from birth.

If you ask how it would be possible to use pacifiers as stimulants and learning ground toward breastfeeding (PROs bullet 1), the answer is quite simple: make sure to get the right pacifier for your baby

It is suggested that if you plan to introduce pacifiers for babies aged one month or less, you use the round pacifiers.

Just make sure to change it once your baby started teething to avoid teeth misalignment.

3. Insufficiency of breastmilk supply and nipple sores. 

The use of pacifiers may also cause the 1) insufficient supply of breast milk, and 2) mother’s nipple sore. These are also linked to the Nipple Confusion Syndrome.

The breast milk supply is dependent on the amount of milk that the baby was able to extract from his/her mother. If the frequency of breastfeeding will be lessened, this also equates to less amount of breast milk that the mom may be able to give.

To solve this, some mothers get breast pump to secure enough breast milk supply, and store it properly to avoid spoilage.

Should You Give Pacifiers While Breastfeeding?

Ideally, you should not give pacifiers to babies below four weeks old (one month old). This is to avoid the Nipple Confusion Syndrome that we are talking about.

After a month of breastfeeding, we should be able to establish such activity to your baby’s system.

So, when you introduce pacifiers after one month, babies would already know the difference between the mother’s breast and the dummy nipple or pacifier.

When you introduce pacifiers to your baby, make sure to get the right type of pacifiers depending on the baby’s oral characteristics and age.

There are pacifiers which are super flexible which means that it is safe to use even though front tooth are yet to erupt. 

If, during the first tries of breastfeeding on the first four weeks, you have observed your baby’s difficulty learning how to suck, then you can visit your doctor to ask for advice.

Pacifiers would totally work, but you have to do it in a very timely manner, including the schedule and the length of time it should be put into use. Usually, they recommend the use of pacifiers during night time.

Once you pass the six months mark of breastfeeding, they you are free to use pacifiers until the baby has been pacified enough.

Make sure to read through our weaning off pacifier article to know up until when you should tolerate the use of your binkies.

Conclusion

pros of pacifiers

A lot has been discussed about pacifiers, particularly the use of pacifier when breastfeeding.

We laid down the importance of breastfeeding and the use of pacifiers on your baby’s overall development, as well as the pros and cons of doing both activities and methodologies simultaneously.

Going back to our inquiry, should we use pacifiers while breastfeeding?

The answer still depends on you, but a lot of considerations and recommendations were provided for you to assess your specific situations.

You may share your experiences with us, especially if you think that it could further improve this article.

Do you have any clarifications in mind? Or, additional input to these series of pacifier articles? Do not forget to comment them down below.

Sarah Morgan
 

Chief editor of WellBeingKid.com and striving mom-extraordinaire.Let me share and inspire you with my daily struggles to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.

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