Q&A: Can Breastfeeding Benefit My Down Syndrome Baby?

How can breastfeeding help my Down syndrome baby?
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ByCatherine Watson Genna, BS, IBCLC
Lactation Specialist
Updated
Mar 2017
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Babies with Down dyndrome may have heart defects, develop more slowly, and be at higher risk for cancers and infections. The good news is that your milk helps the baby’s brain develop, and breastfeeding protects her against infection and some cancers. Plus, breastfeeding is usually easier than bottle feeding for babies with heart problems. Feeding at your breast also exercises the same mouth muscles that are used in speaking. Know that your baby may need help breastfeeding. An IBCLC (international board certified lactation consultant) will be familiar with ways to help babies with Down syndrome breastfeed and can give you personalized advice.

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