Pacifier Use and Breastfeeding: A Qualitative Study of Postpartum Mothers

Claudia R. Rocha, Kendra Elizabeth Verga, Heather L. Sipsma, Ilse A. Larson, Carrie Anne Phillipi, Laura Rachael Kair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: Due to the inconclusive evidence supporting the traditional recommendation to avoid early pacifier use among breastfeeding newborns, this study aims to understand what information mothers are receiving from hospital based care providers and their perspectives about pacifier use in the newborn period. Methods: Interviews with mothers of healthy, term newborns during the postpartum hospitalization were conducted in this qualitative study. Results: Qualitative data analysis yielded several major themes that included the following: (1) pacifiers are beneficial for the maternal/infant experience, (2) concerns that pacifiers may interfere with breastfeeding, and (3) concerns about long-term use (including reliance and effect on teeth). Conclusion: Given the maternal perception of benefit and the paucity of high-quality evidence showing harm, further research on the effects of early pacifier use is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-28
Number of pages5
JournalBreastfeeding Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • breastfeeding
  • clinical protocols
  • pacifiers
  • postpartum mothers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Health Policy
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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