Breastfeeding has tremendous benefits to newborns. There are many great reasons to breastfeed, but whether or not to do so is a personal choice. Some mothers breastfeed exclusively while others bottle feed. Still others combine the two. If you do plan to breastfeed, be aware of certain factors that might make it challenging. Babies with Down syndrome have low muscle tone, so it may be difficult for your baby to “latch on” to your breast at first. As these babies also tend to be sleepier than other infants, you will likely have to make an extra effort to raise your baby’s alertness and keep him or her awake throughout the entire feeding. Also, if your baby needs surgery, he or she may require a feeding tube for a short time. Don’t worry, though. There are many organizations and individuals that can help you get started and provide tips for overcoming these and any other challenges you may encounter.
La Leche League was founded to give information and encouragement, mainly through personal help, to all mothers who want to breastfeed their babies. More information specific to breastfeeding children with Down syndrome
The Breastfeeding a Baby with Down Syndrome brochure published by the Canadian Down Syndrome Society provides detailed information for parents about breastfeeding infants with Down syndrome.