The following quote from neurophysiologist Mark Hallett reinforces the recommendation in Step 9 from the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, which infers that learning infant breastfeeding skills is dependent upon practice that is specific to the task (The Specificity Principle). The Ten Steps are one aspect of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, and from 1986 to early 2018, Step 9 advised to “Give no artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.” The language of the Ten Steps was revised in 2018, and the current language of Step 9 now states, “Counsel mothers on the use and risks of feeding bottles, teats and pacifiers.”
Quote of the Day from Mark Hallett, M.D.:
Immediately after learning, the motor memory is fragile. In particular, it is vulnerable to disruption by learning of something similar. However, if there is no disruption, with the passage of time, the memory becomes more robust. It is this process, of becoming more and more robust with time, that is designated consolidation.
In: Hallett M (2006). The role of the motor cortex in motor learning. In Motor Control and Learning (Latash ML & Lestienne F, Eds.), p. 92. New York: Springer.
Dr. Hallett developed and has maintained the Human Motor Control Section (HMCS) at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
Hallett’s faculty profile:
Article: “Celebrating Mark Hallett’s 30 Years of Research”:
Dr. Hallett’s interview from NIH’s Oral History Program: https://history.nih.gov/archives/downloads/halletinterview.pdf