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J Paediatr Child Health. 2001 Feb;37(1):58-63.

The impact of pacifier use on breastfeeding: a prospective cohort study.

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  • 1Department of Paediatrics, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. a.vogel@auckland.ac.nz



To determine the predictors of pacifier use during the first year of life and to assess the influence of pacifier use on the duration of breastfeeding.


A prospective cohort study was conducted. Three hundred and fifty mother-infant pairs were followed to 1 year of age to determine the impact of the use of a pacifier on the duration of breastfeeding.


A cohort of 441 mothers were enrolled and 79% participated. Ninety four per cent were followed up to 1 year. Daily pacifier use was associated with early cessation of breastfeeding (risk ratio (RR) 1.71; 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 1.29, 2.28) and a reduced duration of full breastfeeding (adjusted (adj.) RR 1.35; 95%CI 1.05, 1.74). Finger sucking was not associated with a reduced duration of breastfeeding (RR 1.05; 95%CI 0.81, 1.37). Pacifier use less than daily was not associated with a change in duration of breastfeeding (RR 1.02; 95%CI 0.75, 1.39). Most mothers commenced the use of a pacifier within the first month. Multiple logistic regression analysis found that the use of a pacifier was associated with male gender (adj. RR 1.97; 95%CI 1.23, 3.13), maternal smoking in pregnancy (adj. RR 2.23; 95%CI 1.01, 4.95), and low maternal confidence with breastfeeding (adj. RR 2.70; 95%CI 1.48, 4.93).


Daily pacifier use is associated with a reduced duration of breastfeeding. Less frequent pacifier use does not reduce the duration of breastfeeding.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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