Breastfeeding and Down syndrome…A Beautiful Combination

Breastfeeding and Down syndrome…A Beautiful Combination

Who ever thought breastfeeding a child with Down syndrome would be any different.  I didn’t.  Until I saw the look on the nurse’s face after my daughter was born.  She asked me if I had a preference on which kind of formula they gave her in the nursery.  After telling her I was going to nurse my daughter, she handed her to me and said “OK, give it a try, but keep in mind most babies with Down syndrome can’t latch on very well.”  Over the next few days I kept hearing that same comment and couldn’t understand why people weren’t more encouraging.

After doing research on breastfeeding a baby with Down syndrome since she was born, I can see why the nurses reacted this way.  For some babies it can be very difficult, due to low muscle tone.  But it is still possible.  A good support system is the key to any breastfeeding adventure.  Having the right resources in place before hand would be excellent, but if that’s not possible you can call a lactation consultant, preferably one with knowledge of special needs, while you’re in the hospital with your baby.  Other things such as nursing pillows and a hand express pump will help.  Stimulating your milk supply yourself or with a pump right before nursing will save your baby some work and utilize that energy to nurse longer.

Children with Down syndrome also have a tendency to have a lower immune system and respiratory issues.  Sticking with it is beneficial for baby to get all the extra immunities that breast milk has to offer.   I’m so thankful I could offer my daughter that extra boost.  And the bonding time we had together was great.  Turns out, she was easier to breastfeed than my typical child.  Down syndrome or not, breastfeeding each child is a different experience.  Don’t let the myths or negative comments sway your decision, I’m here to tell you it can be done and become a beautiful experience for both of you.

by Jodi Osmin, guest contributor

Giveaway: One lucky blog fan is going to win a Bravado Original Nursing Bra.

How do you enter?

1. Become a fan on Facebook. Comment below that you are a follower on FB. ONE comment below per FB follower.

2. Become a follower of our BLOG by becoming a “Natural Mama!” Comment below that you are a follower or just became one. ONE comment per BLOG follower and include your blogID name.

3. Tell others about this GIVEAWAY, our BLOG or our store!  You may comment below as many times as you tell others – ONE COMMENT PER LINK – with a link to your blog or helpful message board post (respect spam policies, please). Your comment must be viewable have a link back to our store – www.momsmilkboutique.com our blog www.breastfeedbabywearclothdiaper.com or tag us on Facebook to be eligible for entry.

5. Tweet about us! Then copy and paste your TWEET here as a comment. MUST include any of the following in your tweet @MomsMilkBtque #clothdiapers #babywearing. Every unique tweet is an entry!

6. Make any purchase between 7/16-7/26 then come back and post the order#.

Entries will close at 11:59 pm EST on 7/26/10 and the winner will be posted on 7/27/10!

WINNER: Mallory says: July 20, 2010 at 9:48 am (contact abbie@momsmilkboutique.com to claim)

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159 Responses to “Breastfeeding and Down syndrome…A Beautiful Combination”

  1. Bao says:

    I follow this blog. My name should appear as either Bao or Macaumonkey. Thanks!

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  3. I am (now) a Natural Mama (and I followed the blog through Facebook, and I have you saved in my toolbar favorites!)

  4. I am a facebook follower.

    I don’t think it would ever occur to me that there might be a difference in nursing a child with Down’s Syndrome. Thank you for posting this and educating me!

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    I’m a FB fan!

    What a great article. I couldn’t nurse my daughter who has digeorge and it was heart breaking. I had my heart set on it and when nurses saw her cleft palate everyone said there wasn’t much point in trying to breast feed. Even the LC said I could put her to my breast “if I wanted” which made me feel dumb: if it served no point then why should I? I wish support systems for kids with defects and syndromes were more solid.

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  90. […] Breastfeeding and Down syndrome…A Beautiful Combination « Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiape… […]

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  109. I tried to follow you on FB. Don’t know if it worked because it redirected me to Mom’s Milk Boutique.

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    By the way, excellent article! I am so glad I read this. I am not there yet, but I am glad there is hope and encouragement for breastfeeding in tough situations! Thanks!

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  119. Annelee says:

    I had never thought about it being different!! I’m SO glad your experiece was good. 🙂

    I’m a fan on FB (Annelee Giese)

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    I’m a Facebook fan. :o)

  121. katrina says:

    I am a fan on facebook! =) (k. welch)

  122. Amie maberry says:

    I am a follower!
    I am so sorry that nurse said that to you! I have four kids my last is still nursing and I have only had one nurse who also was a lactation consultant actually encourage breastfeeding that nurse was my nurse after I had my third son and then again when I had my fourth child ( a daughter) I made it to 9 months nursing with
    y third son and so far we are still nursing number 4 at 3 months old. My first two nobody came to help they pushed formula and ultimately I made it a mo th or two longer with the second one. My first son didn’t
    akr it past a month In a half and he was supplemented the entire time. No support next to nothing in the encouragement area. Encouragement can help go a long way!

  123. Jennie Vogel says:

    follower on fb!

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  135. Aileen says:

    This is a fantastic article! I hope it gives inspiration to other Mom’s with Special Needs babies!

  136. Marguerite Tagawa says:

    Love this post as I had trouble getting started with breastfeeding my son without any medical complications. I am a fan on Facebook.

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    Im a fan on FB

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    Facebook fan

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    facebook fan!

  142. Megan says:

    I love your description of breastfeeding as an adventure! What a perfect choice of words!
    I am a follower on facebook!

  143. Tiffany U says:

    I am a facebook fan. And, for the record, I nursed my sweet girly with Downs for 16 months…she was my best nurseling of 4! Every baby is different! Every baby deserves a try!! 🙂

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    Fan on FB!

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    such a sweet and true story Im a fan

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    I’m a fan on FB

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  149. Sarah L says:

    I just became a follower on the blog 🙂

  150. Sarah L says:

    Great post! My brother has downs syndrome and my mom breastfed him the longest out of her 3 children. Anything is possible 🙂
    and of course I am a fan on FB

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    Already a blog follower!

  153. Kendra says:

    Great article!

    Already a FB fan!