Babies born with Down syndrome can be bottle or breast-fed, but they may require a little additional assistance. Many factors can affect feeding, but the most common ones are due to a small mouth size, low muscle tone, or heart problems, which can make sucking difficult and very tiring.
On the following pages is information to help with bottle and breast-feeding. Another tool to use to help strengthen your baby’s suck is the pacifier. The pacifier strengthens oral motor control and helps develop the muscles needed for drinking, eating solid foods, and talking.
In addition, when your child is a little older, your speech pathologist will probably recommend some type of regular facial and oral stimulation so it is helpful if your child becomes accustomed to touching on the face and in and around the mouth at an early age.
A great local source for assistance with breast-feeding is Dr. Rebecca Saenz at the Mississippi Breastfeeding Medicine Clinic. Dr. Saenz is the proud parent of Janette, who has Down syndrome. Dr. Becky can be contacted by calling (601) 898-7979. The website address is www.msbfmedclinic.com.