Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Controversial Parenting: Pacifier or No Pacifier?

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I am not an expert. Heck, I'm not even a college grad. I am just a mom, living life, and always trying to do what's best for my baby and my family. I encourage everyone to do your own research when it comes to making decisions for your child.

While I was pregnant, I had every intention of giving my child a pacifier. I didn't think twice about it really. It was just what people did, so I would do it too! Then as I began reading more about breastfeeding, I learned about this lovely little thing called "nipple confusion." Being determined to breastfeed, this scared me! There was no way I would let anything interfere with my breastfeeding! Then my baby was born.....

On her second day of life, my daughter thought it would be a good idea to nurse for an hour and a half straight. Obviously baby gets what baby wants, and as much as I wanted to continue nursing her, my poor boobs just couldn't take it anymore!!! It was at that moment that I realized my baby was what I call a "comfort sucker." This isn't out of the norm. After all, sucking is one if the Five S's, but I never really understood how soothing it would be! I asked my mom what she would do, and she said "just give her the pacifier, she'll be fine." So, in went the pacifier and she took to it immediately! That second night in the hospital was much more restful than the first! That pacifier was a lifesaver!

However, the next morning, the lactation consultant came to visit me and her face immediately turned to horror as she noticed the pacifier in my daughters mouth! The official position of the hospital was that breastfed babies weren't supposed to have pacifiers for at least 6 weeks, and especially not the MAM pacifier that I had given my daughter.

Not only did the LC's words rip through my newly born mother heart, she then proceeded to pull the pacifier out of my peacefully sleeping babies mouth. Tears followed immediately, and not just from the baby. I was made to feel like such a terrible mother, and like I did not care if my baby learned to properly breastfeed. Why wasn't I strong enough to let my baby nurse as much as she wanted? Was nursing not supposed to hurt so bad? Was I doing it all wrong? Would my baby be able to latch correctly now that I've introduced a "dummy" nipple? So many thoughts went through my brain and I couldn't stop crying. The LC came and hugged me, and honestly all I wanted to do was smack her in the face. She left, and when the pediatrician came in, he took his turn telling me how horrible pacifiers are for breastfed babies. I didn't mean to be rude, but I told him to stop talking. I didn't want to hear it anymore. 

After all that trouble, my baby is now almost 12 weeks old, and "nipple confusion" has never been an issue for us. When she's hungry, she spits her pacifier out. When she's done eating, she refuses the boob and cries for the pacifier. I feel like introducing her to the pacifier also helped her to take to the bottle a bit better. 

The pacifier has been a lifesaver for us, and she will continue to have it until she no longer needs that comfort, or turns 1. Whichever comes first! 

What did you choose for your child? Did he/she use a pacifier, or did you decide you didn't want to go down that road? I'd love to hear your responses in the comment section!

1 comment:

  1. My baby was born on September 28th and I gave him a mam paci the very first day and had some trouble with nursing. The first couple weeks he only used a bottle because he would fight me every time I tried to nurse him and so I got frustrated and gave up for that time being about 2 weeks ago I attempted to try nursing again and now I am only nursing him unless I have to be away from him. The only real trouble I have found is that the mam paci is the ONLY one he will take... oh and he will ONLY nurse using a nipple shield. My pediatrician told me that at this point it would be very difficult to wean him off the shield but at least he's nursing!!