Harmful oral suction habits in children: association with breastfeeding and family social profile

Suzely Adas Saliba Moimaz, Luiz Fernando Lolli, Cléa Adas Saliba Garbin, Orlando Saliba, Nemre Adas Saliba, Poliane da Silva Azevedo


Purpose: To record the prevalence of nonnutritive sucking habits (thumb and pacifier sucking) in children at 6 and 12 months of age and test its association with family social profile and breastfeeding pattern.
Method: The sample consisted of 80 pairs of mother-child living in the Northwest region of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect data on the presence of nonnutritive sucking habits, family social profile and breastfeeding pattern when the children had 6 and 12 months of age. Data were analyzed by using qui-square tests.
Results: Pacifier sucking was more frequent than thumb sucking. Exclusive breast feeding was not reported for children either in the 6th or 12th month of age, and approximately 70% were already receiving artificial feeding. There was no association between family social profile and sucking habits, but lower rates of breastfeeding was associated with pacifier sucking in the 12-month old children. Thumb sucking was not associated with breastfeeding.
Conclusion: The frequency of breastfeeding was lower than that recommended by WHO for children in the age groups assessed. Pacifier sucking was more prevalent than thumb sucking and was associated with a lower rate of breastfeeding in the 12th-month old children. Family social profile does not seem to be related with nonnutritive sucking habits.


Breast feeding; sucking habits

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e-ISSN: 1980-6523

ISSN-L: 0102-9460


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