Nov 072012

“I know you indicated that you don’t want to give him a pacifier, but it helps a lot if we can give them one. Perhaps you would like to rethink your view on pacifiers?” –  NICU nurse to parents who did not consent for their exclusively breastfed, 2-day-old baby to be given a pacifier.

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 November 7, 2012  breastfeeding, newborn, NICU  Add comments

  36 Responses to ““…Perhaps You Would Like To Rethink your View On Pacifiers?””

  1. “Hold on…okay, I’ve rethought it and decided I was correct the first time, and thank you SO much for making sure you understood what we wanted rather than doing something against our wishes just because it’s easier for you.”

  2. Well goodness, after listening to THAT well-reasoned argument, how could I do anything BUT reconsider my views??


  3. It helps *us* a lot. Be honest, nurse! Yeah, I’m not making parenting choices for someone else’s convenience. But nice try.

  4. Okay, the nurse may actually be right, depending on the gestational age of the baby. Full-termer in the NICU for whatever reason? Homey don’t play that. 28-weeker? Yes, a pacifier DOES actually help since at that age they aren’t able to coordinate their breathe/swallow/suck reflexes and a pacifier helps them to learn. But since it was submitted here I’m guessing it was an older baby and the nurse is full of it.

    • I’m especially guessing that’s true since it says “exclusively breastfed” which implies not pumping, which is very unlikely with a 28-weeker with those issues.

      And in that case, the nurse should expand on the info, saying it helps the baby and including the information you gave. I hope I never need to know that for my own sake, but it’s new info to me and neat to have.

    • I like what you had to say there.

      Sometimes full term babies need to suck to self sooth as well, and if you do it right they don’t have problems with nursing either.

    • I was lucky enough to have a speech therapist/breast feeding advocate MIL on my side, explaining why it would be helpful for my premature son to use a pacifier for that reason exactly. He went on to feed like a champ after pumping for several days before he was able to breathe at a safe rate for feeding. BUT, the nurses and docs didn’t explain this, it was her in my room when I was trying to decide.

  5. What Lisa said above, and I can also see a pacifier being useful to the BABY for comfort sucking during painful procedures. However a clean adult pinky finger could be used as well. Giving a pacifier for the benefit of the STAFF so baby doesn’t cry in between those every 3 hours feedings? Bull$:?!) !!!

  6. The irony for us is that we TRIED pacifiers–I tried about 10 different types. No dice. He never would take one…and wasn’t that crazy about sucking a finger, either. He wanted the real thing, lol.

    • My baby hates pacifiers too. Wasn’t able to breastfeed, but when I’ve given them to him, he just chews on it or spits it out and looks at me like “YAY IT’S A TOY MOMMY”. Haha.

  7. Perhaps you would like to rethink your views on respecting parental decisions?

    • you read my mind!

      opposite happened to me! once we put EBF on the feeding card, they wouldnt give him one, even when i said they could (my #1 i was cautious with, which was probably good, she had a sloppy latch and was born a bit early, and she REFUSED pacifiers, and made a roadtrip to see family hell when she was 2 months old., so i wanted #2 to have on, especially once he seemed to have a great latch at 24 hours old!)

  8. Yup, this was tried on me by nurses and then, after a few days of no sleep & constant crying by my hungry and improperly latching baby, my mom and husband gave him a pacifier without my consent… and he spit it out. That’s my boy! (He did eventually start chewing on the handle side when he was teething – but he was never a pacifier baby.)

    • Ugh, my NICU nurses did this to me too. My daughter was only in the NICU for 4 days and after expressly telling the nurse I did not want to use a paci, I went in to try to nurse and boom, there’s one in my daughter’s mouth. I was so cowed by then, I shrugged it off but I wish I hadn’t.

      • They gave my youngest a pacifier while in the NICU as well. (he shouldn’t have been there in the first place, but that’s a different story) When I said something to the nurse, she got all smart-aleky and said they needed to so he would settle. I was too emotionally exhausted to really argue after having another nurse calling me a liar, which is also another story that goes along with the reason he was there.

        • Himmel, that’s a horrible thing to have happened! If you feel like sharing, I sure would love to know what you were accused of lying about!

          • i hate to be nosey, but i’m with Tee, curious is me!

          • Our second day at the hospital, they took my son to the nursery for tests and he wouldn’t settle, despite having been nursed right before they took him. He was also sneezing and jerking, which I was informed were signs of narcotic withdrawal. I was confused, because I don’t do drugs (except caffeine) and told my nurse that. She just gave me a knowing look and said he wouldn’t be acting like that without a reason. The only narcotics I had taken in the past year was after he was born, I got a shot of morphine before getting an exam to determine if my heavy bleeding was from something other that the placenta abruption.

  9. Pacifiers do make excellent breastmilk-icles handles;) when DS teethed, I’d freeze breastmilk in ice cube trays and stick a cheap pacifier in there for the handle!
    So, yes, nurse, in fact I will take a few! I gotta start stocking up now ;)

  10. Actually studies have shown that the breast is the best place for a preemie to learn suck, swallow, breathe. Kangaroo care will also keep a baby content and not crying and is also beneficial for baby’s development and temp, but that is a pain for the nurses and most NICUs aren’t set up for it. So instead they want to keep the baby in the warmer and want to give the baby a pacifier so it doesn’t feel abandoned.

    • That assumes the preemie is old enough and strong enough to practice nursing on a regular basis. I only have my study group of one (daughter born at 29.5 weeks), but she was not strong enough to nurse with any nutritive value until weeks after her due date. That was despite my practicing with her everyday from about 32 weeks on. That takes a lot of a baby’s energy, so my daughter could do but a few minutes per day w/o tiring herself out. She was also seriously undersized even for her gestation, so her mouth was almost too small to accomodate my nipple.

      These studies also assume that mothers are at the NICU often enough to practice with their babies. To realy make a difference, mothers would have to be there for long periods of time daily. For a variety of considerations, that is often not the case, however. Pacifiers (according to parents’ wishes, of course) might have a place there.

      I typed out another response, but it apparently got eaten. My apologies for double posts, if it in fact does show up.

      • This. My little sister was born at 28 weeks in ’89. My mom had 4 other kids to take care of. She couldn’t always be with my sister for the 3 months she was in the NICU. My sister did have pacifiers because it did help. But it should always be on a case-by-case basis and it should be the parents’ decision.

        Oh, and kangaroo care didn’t work with my sister because in the first 4 weeks every time my parents touched her skin firmly she would go into cardiac arrest. So they mostly had to keep her in the incubator.

      • This. I was a 26 weeker. No way in hell would I have ever been able to breastfeed. Kangaroo care wasn’t an option either, sadly, in the mid 80s. I wish it was, as everything stabilized when my parents or a loved one was holding my hand. (I think one reason my vitals were all over the place was the constant torture of being poked with needles everywhere every hour, crying quietly, and doctors who told my parents “oh, babies don’t feel pain!”.)

  11. Wow… is it just me or does she sound like a heavy for the mob? “Ya wanna rethink that?”

  12. How about you hand my baby to me and stop stressing her out with unnecessary meddling? My breast is far more effective than a paci

  13. This is mine, and yes, my son was full term and a fabulous breastfeeder. This nurse made me cry. I know giving a pacifier is really not a big deal, but we were so stressed and tired and wanted so badly to go home, and she made it sound like we would have to give him a paci in order to get him home quicker (I don’t even remember her argument, but she had one). We told her like three times that we would think it over and maybe change our minds later, but not right this minute, but she kept at it until I was crying. So, “heavy for the mob” is about right.

    I’m so glad we didn’t back down — there was just no reason to. (I do wish he would take a paci now that he’s older, but that’s a different story!)

    • I should add that we were staying in the NICU parent room, so I was there and willing to feed around the clock.

    • OMG…this sounds like my last day at the hospital, except with formula. The nurse made it sound like we were at their mercy and in order to go home, I had to agree to supplement with formula. I was in tears the whole day. I empathize with you!

      • Forgot to add, if it’s a big deal to you, then it IS a big deal. I loved the paci for my son when he was newborn and just wanted to suck on something, but that’s just me. I would never push that on someone else.

  14. But nurse i *am* pacifying my baby, i saved my money and am using the original pacifier given to me by the good Lord (or mother nature depending on what you personally believe) it really is much easier for me to let him nurse when he needs it to ensure my milk supply comes in quickly. thankyou for your advice it has been noted

  15. Dang it, the site ate my comment! Let’s try this again… I firmly believe that you should be nice to your nurses and caregivers and do whatever you can to make their job more pleasant. However, it’s not the patient’s job to make the nurse’s job easier!

  16. Let my sweet NICU nurse, Jessica, fix that for you:

    “Is there anything at all I can do for you?” (dead on my feet, baby was well nursed and diapered and quite fussy)

    me: “I think I’ll ask my husband to bring a pacifier tomorrow. We’ve never had luck with them, but my finger won’t detach so I can lie down.”

    Jessica: “Oh, I can get you a pacifier! I didn’t want to offer you one since you were exclusively breastfeeding, but I’ve got a closet full!”

    I got three hours of sleep! We know pacifiers exist. They can be a useful tool. They don’t need to be forced on people.

    • I was open minded about pacifiers, and let my exclusively breastfed daughter have one. She wouldn’t sleep unless she was sucking, but after she was done eating, she wouldn’t nurse. At all. Believe me I tried. But a paci put her right to sleep, and she weaned from the breast and pacifier at 6 months. I don’t think it’s the pacifier’s fault, she just had no patience for either one. ;)

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