Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Breastfeeding a Baby with Down Syndrome

Breastfeeding a baby that has Down Syndrome is more challenging. 

Here are some benefits that I found here:
  • Bonding is huge! Bottle feeding can give a bond as well. It's just a different type of bond.
  • Tongue and mouth coordination are known to improve. Many babies that have Down Syndrome that end up breastfeeding have fewer speech problems. Breastfeeding benefits facial muscle tone.
  • Improved protection from respiratory infection, which they are more prone to.
  • Less bowel problems. 
If a baby is given a bottle, it may seem as though they are rejecting the breast. A bottle takes a lot less work on the tongue and facial muscles. With a bottle all they have to do is swallow. Many babies with Down Syndrome have low muscle tone. Breastfeeding will be more difficult. It is also the reason why breastfeeding is so beneficial! Cupping their tongue is difficult for a baby with Down Syndrome. Feedings will take longer. Mom and baby have to be patient if you are wanting this to work.

Babies with Down Syndrome are usually more sleepy in the early weeks. If they are in the middle of a feeding and simply are lazy eaters, tickle or rub their feet to keep them going. Frequent, short 10 minutes are more feedings, work better. Try to nurse every 2 to 3 hours. They love attention, so skin-to-skin contact is great! Undress the baby down to their diaper. Put a blanket over the two of you. Invest in a carrier of some sort; to keep them close.

Work with a Lactation Consultant, join a baby group that is in support of nursing mom's. La Leche League is a great support! 

Keep pumping to get your milk supply up. Once your baby figures out how to nurse, feeding times will extend. The process will be much more enjoyable for mom and baby!

1 comment:

Our Homeschool Reviews said...

Hi. That is some good advice! I'm following you from the MomsReviews4You blog hop. :)