Sunday, May 1, 2011

Babies with Down Syndrome CAN Nurse!!

I'm writing this post mainly for other mothers that may stumble upon my blog one day.

When I was pregnant I did a ton of research on nursing a baby with Down Syndrome.  Almost every single thing I read said that Ollie would have such low muscle tone in her mouth that nursing would be impossible & that most likely she would need a feeding tube (her heart was added into this).  I had friends that said no, she can do it, their babies did it so I set my mind that Ollie could too!

Ollie is strong & she was bound and determined to prove those medical gurus wrong.
At birth she nursed like a pro.  But with the stress of everything my milk didn't come in as normal & nursing was a struggle.  I came home, talked to my lactation consultant, and ate oatmeal daily - boom - milk came in!  So I pumped constantly and she took breast milk in bottles.  I pumped 2 to 3 times in the middle of the night after feeding her a bottle - it was exhausting to say the least.

I tried everything to get her to nurse...special needs bottles to strengthen her jaw muscles, nipple shields, different bottles that were suggested to name it we tried it.

She's now 11 weeks old and I can proudly say that now she finally nurses exclusively.  She detests her bottles & refuses them for the most part - which causes a struggle because her oh so important heart medication goes in a small bottle.  I'm also not sure what we'll do at heart surgery time if she won't take a bottle, but I guess we will cross that bridge when we get there!

So pump, pump, pump, and you'll get there!  Our babies CAN do ANYTHING they put their minds and hearts too!


  1. I loved this post!!

    You know,Zoey was gtube fed for 6 months before her surgery,24 hours a day.I pumped for 6 months and I know people thought I was crazy.I knew they thought,oh sure,how is this child with Down syndrome,who has never put anything to her lips,for 6 months,going to nurse?Not going to happen ... But I knew my strong,determined little fighter and true to what my heart believed,in the parking lot of the Ronald McDonald house,the day we left after her repair,my hungry little love nursed for the first time,at the age of 6 months and kept it up for another year.Never,ever doubt the magic of that extra chromosome.Ever!

  2. Annie, all your hard work paid off and the proof is in that very healthy pudding of a baby! Your persistence is commendable, but we moms do what needs to be done, don't we? Ollie will eventually adjust to both nursing and bottle, I believe. I know you are getting close to that hospital visit and are on pins and needles! Ann {{Ollie}}

  3. Due to V's DA repair she couldn't eat anything for over two weeks. This was immediately after she was born. She was fed through a central line (an tube in her chest). The first thing she was ever offered was the breast and she latched right on! Because of being in the hospital she was also given a bottle when I couldn't be there, which did mix things up a bit but overall she is a nursing champ. At fourteen months she is still going strong. Only now the struggle is getting her onto other foods. :)

  4. So exciting. My own little Bean started nursing at 13 weeks for the first time (just 1-1/2 weeks after her successful OHS!) She's been taking 1-2 bottles from Daddy, but now after 2+ weeks of nursing it seems that her weight gain is slowing quite a lot. So she doesn't seem to be taking as much as I thought. I am working on good thoughts for her though, because after 3 months of pumping (and still pumping now) I really don't want to go back to bottles of fortified milk.

    Good work and I LOVE your blog. Ollie is a doll!

  5. Yeah!!! We did Aubrey's medicine in tiny droppers a little at a time...never in a bottle...give it a try, she might surprise you. After surgery, they did give her a couple small bottles (like 10-15cc) to be sure she could handle it, but then I was allowed to nurse you should be ok. Keep it up Momma!

  6. WOOT WOOT!!!! I am SOOOOO proud of her!!!


Thank you so much for your kind words & support! I love hearing from you & read each and every comment you leave for me! ~Annie


Related Posts with Thumbnails