I know that it is the AAP's recommendation to give your baby a pacifier for nighttime sleeping and naps to combat SIDS. Of course, SIDS is scary and if such a small thing helps, I would be happy to do it. My daughter is 6 weeks and has been breastfeeding at the breast for the last 3 weeks. Before that she was nursing with a nipple shield. I worry that introducing a pacifier might cause issues and I wonder what the general consensus here with La Leche is. Do you give your kiddo a pacifier, and if so, when? Does it effect their ability to self soothe? Can it affect their nursing and latch?
I am worried because it took us SO long to get to successful breastfeeding that I do not want to jeopardize it. Below is the shortest possible version of our journey
When baby was born, she had a short tongue and recessed chin. She was not able to latch properly and lost 7% of her body weight in 24 hours so we were told to put her on formula. My milk came in on day 4 and we immediately started bottle feeding her this. She was getting what little colostrum I could get before that. On day 6 our peditrician's lactation consultant suggested trying a nipple shield to get her to the breast. It worked and I cried I was so happy to be able to breastfeed my baby. Her weight gain was still slow and, in retrospect, I think she was fighting with slow flow through the shield. When the doctor started talking about exclusively bottle feeding, I worked on weaning her off of the shield and directly onto the breast. It took several nerve-wracking days but we got there. It was a sore start, as her suck was still impaired from her anatomy. She started dramatically gaining weight and I knew we were finally on the right track. We have been straight at the breast for the last 3 weeks.
I really appreciate your input here! She definitely wants to suck to soothe and is going after her fist and fingers.