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Thread: Breastfeeding a baby with Down Syndrome

  1. #1

    Default Breastfeeding a baby with Down Syndrome

    If anyone knows how I can get my 2 week old baby with down syndrome to breastfeed please let me know! She was in the NICU for 10 days and got used to taking the bottle which is much easier. She is home now but when I try to get her to latch on to the breast she gets really mad. Sometimes she tries a little bit but gives up pretty quickly.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Breastfeeding a baby with Down Syndr

    Congratulations on the new baby! So glad to hear she's home. I don't know much about the challenges you're facing, but kellymom always has useful links: http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/down-syndrome.html

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Southern NM

    Default Re: Breastfeeding a baby with Down Syndr

    You might try posting this in the health issues, baby/child as well.
    I am Erin--happily married to the nerd of my dreams for 15 years
    High School Science Teacher
    Mother to: Thing 1 9/23/01, bf 15 mo, diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma 1/29/02, officially cancer free for ten years in August 2012
    Thing 2 6/6/05, bf 12 mo, obsessed with dynamite
    Glowworm 2/18/11, bf 15 months and counting

  4. #4

    Default Re: Breastfeeding a baby with Down Syndr


    I don't know if we have any members here who have nursed a baby with Down Syndrome, but there may be some with friends or family members who have...

    I found this article-- Breastfeeding My Baby with Down Syndrome. And there may be something in this general article about getting baby back to the breast that could help:


    Hang in there!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Breastfeeding a baby with Down Syndr

    Hi mama hqve you tried the Dancer Hold (iirc) its a way to nurse and assist their chin to account for weak muscle tone. Let me see if i have a link.

    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: Breastfeeding a baby with Down Syndr

    just wanted to say hi! congrats on the baby. how are you feeling?

    although not focused on down syndrome, i just wanted to recommend the new edition of the womanly art of breastfeeding. i loved reading it during my lengthy nursing sessions in the early weeks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern Cal.

    Default Re: Breastfeeding a baby with Down Syndr

    Have you contacted a lactation consultant, preferably one experienced with these issues? I would think this is a time when hands-on help would be incredibly valuable. You may want to try your local LLL leader, if you have a local group, to ask for references to whoever is the most experienced, most knowledgeable LC in your area.

    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default Re: Breastfeeding a baby with Down Syndr

    Congratulations on your new little one.

    I don't have experience with Down Syndrome, but my second child had a disorganized suck, and we did have to use the dancer hold (mentioned earlier with link) to help him along. His suck was so weak that we even had to use it with a bottle, and it did help him have more stamina. It took my little guy about two months (and chiropractic adjustments) to get him to learn to nurse and another two months to really master it. Your LO is young yet, so even though you have a hard road, I just wanted to offer support that it's not too late, but I think you'll need help.

    Have you been able to find an IBCLC as soon as possible for hands-on help? She may also be a good source for you for other resources to deal with your specific need.

    Good luck to you.
    I breast milk fed my Blossom for fifteen months (after exclusively pumping for thirteen). My Bud (nineteen months) is still nursing directly (after a rough start that included a few months of pumping and supplementing with mommy's milk).

    TwoDewdrops: Nursing Dresses and Tops for Discreet Breastfeeding (and Pumping)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Breastfeeding a baby with Down Syndr

    I haven't nursed a Downs baby, but a good friend of mine had one, and she did eventually nurse the baby and did for at least a year.

    You have the added complication of needing to overcome nipple confusion as well.

    http://www.llli.org/nb/nbdisabled.html this section is dear to my heart because I also have a special-needs baby
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

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