I’ve never been a fan of giving pacifiers to my children. There was just always something about it that bothered me.
I was told to avoid giving them to your children until breastfeeding is fully established. I used this as a loop-hole. It took so long for me to establish breastfeeding with both of mine that they were too old to use one. Although I agree with this, there always seemed more to it, even though I couldn’t put my finger on it.
Yesterday, at Ruby’s CST appointment, I spent a great deal of time talking to Tim Reep. We discussed several topics regarding natural healing, the importance of nutrition, and the ill effects that a sick digestive track has on the rest of the body. He mentioned that he doesn’t chew gum.
The action created by the tongue and jaws while chewing gum sends a signal to the rest of the digestive track that you are eating. Saliva is produced and digestive enzymes and acid are released. But nothing ever arrives in the stomach. This causes problems over time.
It makes sense to me, so I decided to do a little more research on it. Here’s what I found:
Our bodies were never designed to be constantly chewing and there are significant neurological mechanisms in the chewing process. When you chew, your brain thinks it is going to get food and secretes digestive enzymes, such as Amylase in the mouth to break down carbohydrates. This is the first stage of digestion. It then signals the gastrointestinal track and pancreas to secrete more enzymes, such as Protease and Lipase in preparation for what it believes to be food coming down that needs to be digested. This is the normal process by which protein and fat are broken down. This unnatural process can cause bloating.
Hormone imbalances occur, due to our digestive system being controlled and regulated by our autonomic nervous system, such as insulin and cortisol being secreted. The stomach then starts producing Hydrochloric Acid. This can’t be used and can create potential digestive dysfunction, such as Acid Reflux Ulcers and Bruxism (teeth grinding and clinching).
Biomechanical imbalances like forward head posture, which is a result of excessive chewing can strain the cervical vertebrae causing the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae to compensate, making one hip or shoulder lower than the other. TMJ can also occur as well as headaches and since most people chew on one side, asymmetry faces.
(Taken from “The Ill Effects of Chewing Gum” by Michael Torchia)
No wonder we have so many problems with acid reflux in our older age. We chew gum frequently in our society.
This got me wondering….
….. Does the same thing happen to a baby when he/she sucks on a pacifier? Their mouth, jaws, and tongue are all moving in the fashion as though he/she were eating. Wouldn’t that signal to the digestive track of a baby to prepare for food that doesn’t come? This would not be a problem when a child comfort nurses because food actually arrives in the stomach.
Another reason why many people in our society suffer from acid reflux, we give pacifiers. I get asked this CONSTANTLY with my children. I avoid getting looked at like I have snakes growing out of my head I usually answer, “oh, I’m not that lucky! My children just won’t ever accept one.” When the real answer is that I don’t even really try to give them one. But it is so common in our society to give pacifiers that if you don’t, people literally think you’re crazy.
Do pacifiers cause stomach problems for babies, whether now or later in life? I don’t know for sure. But it’s not worth the risk to me. I want my children to be healthy, not just as children, but as adults also. I don’t want them burdened and weighed down with disease and sickness. I want them to live their lives abundantly!
So in addition to all the obvious problems that a pacifier can cause (dental problems, bad habits, nipple confusion/preference, low milk supply, etc) here’s a possible big problem that isn’t so obvious.