Dummies do not affect success of breast feeding in premature babies


Effect of bottles, cups, and dummies on breast feeding in preterm infants: a randomised controlled trial BMJ Online First

Using a dummy does not affect the success of breast feeding in premature babies, finds a new study available on bmj.com. Dummies are widely used for pre-term infants in hospital but, so far, their effect on breast feeding is unknown.

Researchers analysed the effect of artificial teats (bottles and dummies) and cups on breast feeding in 319 infants born at 23-33 weeks' gestation at the Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide and the Mercy Hospital for Women, Melbourne.

Dummies had no effect on breast feeding and did not reduce hospital stay. Cup feeding increased the proportion of infants discharged home fully breast feeding, but was associated with longer stays in hospital.

This trial is the largest to evaluate the effect of dummies and provides no evidence for withholding dummies from infants less than 34 weeks' gestation as a strategy to increase the success of breast feeding, say the authors.

The study adds some support to the theory that avoiding bottles increases the success of breast feeding, though more research is needed, they conclude.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.