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  • Children with Down Syndrome - Breastfeeding

    Our seventh child, Stefan, was born with Down syndrome. As a breastfeeding consultant, nurse and mother, as well as a pediatrician and father, Martha and I wanted to give Stefan the best start. We looked into the list of the most common health problems that could occur in Stefan. Although, of course, this is not a panacea, breast milk can help in any of these cases:

    • Children with Down's syndrome easily catch cold, especially ear infections;breast milk increases immunity.

    • Children with Down syndrome are susceptible to intestinal infections;breast milk promotes reproduction in the intestinal tract of beneficial bacteria that fight with pathogens.

    • Children with Down's Syndrome often suffer from constipation;breast milk has a laxative effect.

    • Children with Down's Syndrome often have heart disease;Breastmilk contains less salt and more physiologically.

    • Children with Down's Syndrome can suckle languidly;breastfeeding has an energy-saving rhythm.

    • Children with Down's Syndrome lag behind in mental and motor development;breast milk is a good food for the brain, and in addition, breast-feeding provides optimal development of the oral department of the facial skull and communication.

    There are many more unexplored in Down's syndrome;there are still many unexplored valuable nutrients in breast milk. We have a special child who needs special parental care. After the birth of Stefan, when we tried to support each other and wept together, we swore that he would have it - he would start life with breastfeeding.

    Usually children with Down syndrome suck, and it takes a lot of support, a lot of practice and patience to get things going. Only at the age of two weeks did Stephen open his eyes and become more receptive during feeding. Before that time, Martha did everything she could to get him to take the breast. It was a very terrible time for us, because we were afraid that he would never be able to suckle well. Martha had to start most of the feeding. All the rest of our children demanded a breast. But if we waited for Stefan to "demand", we would never gain weight. He was, as we called it, a hunger-volunteer.

    In the next two weeks, Martha expressed her milk with a breast pump several times a day and gave Stefan a 30 ml syringe from a finger before each feeding to "train him in sucking."It was amazing to see how well he makes up for lost time - on some days he added 60 grams.

    Although most children with Down's syndrome have more difficulties with starting breastfeeding and need to be taught to suck their breasts, they eventually master these skills. Invaluable use justifies unnecessary work. Be sure to contact a breastfeeding consultant who has experience with children with Down syndrome.

    All tips for loving care give a hundredfold effect for children with special needs. We found that constant contact through joint sleep, breastfeeding and carrying a baby in a bag gave us the push we needed very much to establish contact with Stefan. We joined a support group that helped us start the to admire with our child. When he began to gain weight and take his chest, we felt that we could stop worrying about him and begin to rejoice over him. Martha still remembers the day when she found out that he was responding to her

    words addressed to him, uttered in a thin voice in the children's language - anxiety prevented her from communicating with him in a normal way. It was so nice to see how much he had in common with our other children, instead of dwelling on what he was different about. Now we can not imagine life without Stefan. Our world has become better because it has Stefan in it. He taught us to appreciate any person, regardless of what he has a defect.