Distressed mum “shamed out of mother’s group” – for using a dummy

Posted in Breastfeeding.

Dummies (also known as pacifiers) are an easy target for the parent police. A very visible focus of their unkind judgement.

“It got me out of the house”

One mum had been enjoying attending her local mother’s group when some insensitive dummy chatter from the group leader turned her experience on its head.

She popped up in a parenting forum on Reddit to explain what had happened and to ask for advice.

“I was going to a mothers group based on a pregnancy class I was in,” this new mum wrote. “I really enjoyed going because it got me out of the house and I liked some of the women who went.”

To give a bit of background, she explained that her baby had been pretty fractious and when a friend suggested an evening dummy, it made all the difference.

“That tip literally changed our lives,” the mum said. “He calmed significantly, his tummy issues disappeared and it let me finally enjoy being a mum.”

“Worst advice ever”

Fast-forward to now and this mum encountered another mother’s group mama who was having a similar problem. She told that struggling mum about her experience with her own baby and how a dummy had helped.

“Well. According to the group teacher I am pretty much giving the worst advice ever and messing up my kid for life,” this poor mum wrote.

Imagine being cut down like that in front of your peers when you were a) just trying to help, and b) speaking from your own very relevant experience. 

“I cried about it but mostly I am furious,” this mum continued.

“People like her deliberately withhold or pass judgment on possible solutions just because of how holy they hold breastfeeding.”

toddler with dummy

A lifesaver

She notes that the dummy actually meant she was able to keep breastfeeding her baby, rather than it sabotaging her efforts.

“Before [using a pacifier] I was ready to give up on it. I didn’t imply it was the only solution, I said it may not work for her, but it may be worth a shot if she’s tried other things and her baby is still clearly distressed and in pain from cluster feeding.”

“Normally I would stand up for myself more but I am sick and tired of being shamed into choices rather than being able to have honest conversations about pacifiers/formula feeding/sleep training etc.”

She says she’s not going back to the group and she feels she’s bordering on developing PND due to the lack of support and constant judgement.

baby with dummy

Here come the mums! Phew!

Thankfully others in the forum where she posted this story could see the truth of this situation, and they swept in with kind words and lots of empathy and encouragement for this mum.

“The people who shamed you are ridiculous,” one wrote. “Pacifiers exist for a reason. They’re safe, helpful and widely used. And they helped me survive with my first, who screamed constantly. By the way, a doctor told me to start using pacifiers. The advice is common and real. You don’t have to go back if you don’t want to, but you don’t deserve to feel bad about pacifiers.”

“I’m so sorry!” another sympathised. “I had trouble breastfeeding at first and was worried about giving my baby a pacifier. I found a really great lactation consultant through the pediatricians office. She said research shows there’s really no such thing as ‘nipple confusion. My [child] is 11 weeks old and can go from breast to bottle to paci with absolutely zero issues. He breastfeeds at home and has three bottles during the day at daycare. Zero issues.”

“That’s so ridiculous. My baby is a pacifier addict since day 3 and also exclusively breastfed. It had zero effect on his feeding and is like magic with calming him down.”

“I promise there are moms out there who are not like that,” another commenter posted. “Pacifiers rock, be happy your little one can take one! They are a lifesaver in terms of keeping some sanity and gives you a break from soothing on the boob.”

Thank goodness for kind mums with commonsense. 

Reddit post about dummies


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