Send to

Choose Destination
Matern Child Nutr. 2017 Jul;13(3). doi: 10.1111/mcn.12384. Epub 2016 Nov 14.

Pacifier use and interruption of exclusive breastfeeding: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Author information

Program in Nutrition in Public Health, School of Public Health, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
Instituto de Saúde, Secretaria Estadual da Saúde de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


Identifying modifiable risk factor for exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) interruption is key for improving child health globally. There is no consensus about the effect of pacifier use on EBF interruption. Thus, the aim of this systematic review was to investigate the association between pacifier use and EBF interruption during the first six month. A search of CINAHL, Scopus, Web of Science, LILACS and Medline; from inception through 30 December 2014 without restriction of language yielded 1,866 publications (PROSPERO protocol CRD42014014527). Predetermined inclusion/exclusion criteria peer reviewed yielded 46 studies: two clinical trials, 20 longitudinal, and 24 cross-sectional studies. Meta-analysis was performed and meta-regression explored heterogeneity across studies. The pooled effect of the association between pacifier use and EBF interruption was 2.48 OR (95% CI = 2.16-2.85). Heterogeneity was explained by the study design (40.2%), followed by differences in the measurement and categorization of pacifier use, the methodological quality of the studies and the socio-economic context. Two RCT's with very limited external validity found a null association, but 44 observational studies, including 20 prospective cohort studies, did find a consistent association between pacifier use and risk of EBF interruption (OR = 2.28; 95% CI = 1.78-2.93). Our findings support the current WHO recommendation on pacifier use as it focuses on the risk of poor breastfeeding outcomes as a result of pacifier use. Future studies that take into account the risks and benefits of pacifier use are needed to clarify this recommendation.


exclusive breastfeeding; meta-analysis; meta-regression; pacifiers; risk factors; systematic review

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center