Babies with Down's Syndrome tend to have poor muscle tone and so may have trouble grasping the nipple and attaching themselves correctly to the breast. Some may have trouble coordinating sucking, swallowing and breathing and may gulp and choke as they feed. They may get less milk for their efforts and tire quickly. This can and will improve with time and patience ... the exercise of breastfeeding itself will improve muscle tone.
Stroke the cheek lying next to your breast to encourage the baby to turn towards the nipple. It may be useful to put a few drops of milk or colostrum on the baby's lips to get her interested.
You can assist good lip closure around the teat or nipple by rubbing or stroking the cheeks towards the lips and stroking upwards from the chin and downwards from the nose toward the mouth. (This also helps to improve the tone of these muscles). Once the baby is "latched on" you can encourage swallowing by gently stroking under the chin and down the throat.
Also it may be helpful to express a little milk at the start of the feed when flow is at its strongest so that baby isn't overwhelmed by the milk.
Last Edit: Nov 28, 2006 21:02:18 GMT by pinktorontogirl