To Suck or Not to Suck? Benefits and Risks of Pacifiers for Breastfed Babies

with guest Debbie Betts, M.S., CCC-SLP

Air Date: July 24, 2017

You’ve heard that breastfeeding will protect your baby from SIDS, and you’ve heard that pacifiers do, too. But don’t pacifiers cause babies to have “nipple confusion”? Or are they just a handy tool for calming a fussy baby? It’s time you sort the facts from the myths—before your baby is crying and you’re on the spot, trying to figure out whether to give the pacifier and if it is a help or a problem. Join Marie as she talks with experienced speech pathologist Debbie Betts to find out the truth about pacifier use. You’ll learn the risks and benefits, as well as when to introduce pacifier use, when to use it with your baby, and when to wean from it. You’ll learn about different types of pacifiers, and how you’d know if the pacifier affected your baby’s speech or feeding in a way that needed follow-up. It’s the must-listen show for anyone who needs to sort out the truth of pacifiers—expectant parents, new parents, and professionals.

Guest Profile – Debbie Betts, M.S., CCC-SLP

Debbie Betts has been providing speech language services to children, many of which have special needs, in Olney and Bethesda, Maryland, for 18 years. With a focus on Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Language Disorders, Articulation Disorders and Oral Motor Disorders, she has explored how breastfeeding contributes to the development of speech and other aspects of childhood development. “Providing guidance and support for breastfeeding is a natural progression,” Debbie says, when asked how breastfeeding became part of her practice. She will share how oral motor development is an essential foundation for life—from eating and speaking, to first impressions, and other life skills. She also will tell you that she loves children and how gratifying it is to see them develop. Having breastfed her own child, she is aware of the benefits and the challenges of early breastfeeding. Patient, understanding, an active listener, and constant learner, Debbie focuses on the whole person and family in her practice. Debbie was awarded a B.S. degree from Towson University and a M.S. degree in Speech Language Pathology from Loyola University of Maryland. On several occasions, the American Speech-Language Hearing Association has given Debbie the Award for Continuing Education in recognition of her exceptional commitment to continuing professional education. She speaks to parent groups and educators on a variety of developmental related topics and she currently works with a new mothers breastfeeding support group.
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