Tag Archives: newborns

Hospital Pacifier Debate Continues (Article)

Breastfeeding is increasingly being recognized as the “gold standard” in infant nutrition due to its immense benefits for babies and new mothers. Breast-milk is packed with vitamins, nutrients, and disease-fighting components that will prepare your baby for his first months of life. Not only does breastfeeding help protect your baby from numerous illnesses, allergies, SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), and obesity, but the practice can reduce the risk of postpartum depression as well as breast and ovarian cancer.  What’s not to love?  So, in what seemed to be a relatively straightforward effort to increase breastfeeding, a hospital sought to decrease the distribution of pacifiers, which prior studies claimed decreased the amount of time babies drank breast milk. However, things didn’t quite go as planned.

Conventional wisdom claims that the more pacifier use a baby has in the newborn period, the less likely breastfeeding will be successful. Since exclusive breastfeeding is a major goal of newborn medicine, it seems logical that restricting pacifier use would increase the likelihood that a baby will be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life, right?  This theory was put to the test recently at a major hospital with a surprising result: decreasing the distribution of pacifiers did not increase the success of breastfeeding, rather, the paciless group actually ended up consuming more infant formula than their paci sucking counterparts.

The use of pacifiers continues to be controversial as this study highlights. Their use is probably not the big factor in whether mothers are successful at breastfeeding.  Lets face it, breastfeeding a small infant is a difficult endeavor, requiring 24 hour a day dedication. It is my opinion that the support, or lack of support by hospitals, doctors, families, and society in general are probably the big factors that determine whether a mother is ultimately successful at breastfeeding, not whether there are pacifiers around in the newborn period.  I think we all can agree that the common goal should be to have every baby get the very best nutritional start in life they can, pacifiers or no pacifiers.

I welcome your comments at www.docsmo.com.   Check out hundreds of posts while you are there on a myriad of pediatric topics. Until next time.

Smo Notes:




written by Keri Register and Paul Smolen M.D.


Babies+Hospitals- a Good Mix (Pedcast)


Welcome to another edition of DocSmo.com…the pediatric blog that brings you portable, practical pediatric information. From diapers to the diploma, if its kid related, we take it on. I’m your host and founder of DocSmo.com…. Dr. Paul Smolen. Parents often ask me why their baby needs to be born in a hospital and why they need to stay for a while after birth? Continue reading

Going Public with Your Newborn, How and When! (Pedcast)

Doc Smo here. Thanks for joining me today. One of the most frequently asked questions that I get in the newborn nursery is, “When can I take my newborn to church, when can I take my baby to the mall, and when can I have my friends over?” Well you will find varying opinions on this subject and the truth is that there is no science behind any of this. I don’t believe that there is a right answer to this question. Different cultures have developed different norms. For instance in traditional Greek society, I am told that babies are isolated from public exposure for the first 60 days of life and in traditional Japanese culture, the isolation period is one year. To my knowledge, the Academy of Pediatrics does not have policy regarding this subject so I thought we would take a little time to explore the subject of when should newborns venture into public places. Continue reading