The Down Syndrome Association of Toronto (DSAT)

New Parents Support Feeding

How can I support feeding my baby now that we have a Down syndrome diagnosis?

Many new parents worry that the diagnosis of DS will affect how they need to approach feeding their new baby. Fortunately, this is an issue that is common to both parents of typical children and parents of children with DS. In the first few months, it can seem like feeding is all that your day revolves around!

It’s widely acknowledged that breastfeeding can be highly beneficial for babies with Down syndrome. Breast milk provides protective properties from the mother that are not replicated in formula. This can be especially important in babies with DS as they can be more susceptible to infections, particularly respiratory infections. Furthermore, breastfeeding can help develop oral motor skills that will be important throughout your child’s development. However, establishing a good breastfeeding relationship can be affected by low muscle tone and every mother needs to decide what works best for her and her baby.

Many of us reached out extensively to lactation consultants and breastfeeding clinics to support us through the early days. For many of us, a combination of breastfeeding, pumping, formula and bottle feeding was what supported our children through their first weeks as their strength grew and we, as parents, became more comfortable with our new routines. Pumping and breastfeeding aids may be particularly helpful during the first few months, allowing your child to receive breast milk even if latching and strength are issues you face.

We’ve gathered some information regarding breastfeeding babies with DS:

Breastfeeding a Baby with Down Syndrome – Canadian Down Syndrome Society

La Leche League – Breastfeeding Babies with Down Syndrome

Breastfeeding your baby with Down Syndrome

We’ve also put together a list of breastfeeding/feeding resources here in Toronto, highlighting those that have experience supporting newborns with Down syndrome:

Toronto Public Health – Breastfeeding Support

Newman International Breastfeeding Clinic

Better Breastfeeding Clinic (has supported newborns with Down syndrome)

Latch Lactation (west Toronto, Etobicoke, Mississauga)

La Leche League – Toronto Locations

Doctors' Breastfeeding Clinic (has supported newborns with Down syndrome)

(888) 807-0650 or (289) 233-1957

Doctors' Breastfeeding Clinic Facebook page

GTA breastfeeding Support group on facebook

Private lactation consultant with experience supporting newborns with Down syndrome: Carolyn Barrera does home visits. 416-270-1091

DSAT

PO Box 40039
Liberty Village PO
Toronto ON M5V 0K7
416-966-0990

Non-Profit Charitable
Organization #
11888 7942 RR0001

Established in 1987

Buddy Walk

Buddy-Walk-NDSS