Dummy Use

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To introduce a dummy or to not introduce one, this is a common question I get from breastfeeding mums.
Dummies can be a great tool for families if used appropriately.  According to the AAP, dummy use can decrease the risk of SIDS. It is always a good idea to wait until breastfeeding is well established before introducing one.  For some families, dummy use to meet baby's nutritional suckling needs can save their breastfeeding relationship.  For these families, rather than stopping breastfeeding due to exhaustion, needing some personal space, frequent car rides, etc....using a dummy safely (for milk supply) allows them to continue to enjoy their breastfeeding journey. 

One of the biggest fears about introducing a dummy is that it may cause nipple confusion and/or cause problems with latching.  For some babies, this may be true.  For other babies, they have no problems going back and forth.  We won't know how you baby might react, until we try to introduce it.  If you choose to introduce it and your little one doesn't have any issues, then read on for tips on how to properly use a dummy for breastfeeding and milk supply.  

I think, the biggest message for dummy and milk supply is that, we are NOT offering a dummy in place of a feeding or to post-pone a feeding.  When baby shows hunger cues, offer the breast FIRST and let baby breastfeed.  If you choose to offer a dummy, it is best to offer a dummy AFTER a feeding, to help your little one suck to sooth or fall asleep, for reflux needs, developmental needs, etc....

So, introducing a dummy is a personal choice.  They can absolutely be beneficial if used appropriately.  But, can also cause issues with milk supply and latching if not used appropriately.