JOURNAL ARTICLE

[Pacifier use and its relationship with early weaning in infants born at a Child-Friendly Hospital]

Maria Emília de Mattos Soares, Elsa Regina Justo Giugliani, Maria Luiza Braun, Ana Cristina Nunes Salgado, Andréa Proenço de Oliveira, Paulo Rogério de Aguiar
Jornal de Pediatria 2003, 79 (4): 309-16
14513129

OBJECTIVE: To assess the use of pacifiers and its relationship with early weaning among children born at a Child-Friendly Hospital.

METHODS: A cohort study was carried out with 250 healthy singleton babies, with birthweight > or =2,500 g, and with ongoing breastfeeding, born at Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre. All mothers lived in Porto Alegre. Data were collected through interviews with the mothers, both at the maternity ward and at their homes, at the end of the first and sixth month of life; and over the phone, in the second and fourth months. Survival curves were built to compare the prevalence of breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life among pacifier and non-pacifier users.

RESULTS: Among the 237 newborns contacted in the first month of life, 61.6% had been using pacifiers, most of them since the first week of life. The use of pacifiers was more frequent among male newborns and among those with poorly educated mothers; among babies who were being breastfed, the use of pacifiers was more commonly observed among non-exclusively breastfed ones. Considering the babies who were still being breastfed by the end of the first month of life, the incidence of weaning between months 1 and 6 was 22.4% for non-pacifier users and 50.8% for pacifier users (p<0.001). Almost 2/3 of pacifier users stopped being exclusively breastfed before the end of the second month; among non-pacifier users, this rate was 45% (p<0.001).

CONCLUSION: The use of pacifiers is deeply rooted in our culture, even in a population oriented towards avoiding it. The association between pacifier use and shorter duration of breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding was confirmed in this population.

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