Last update: March 21, 2018

Down Syndrome

Very Low Risk for breastfeeding

Not risky for breastfeeding or infant.

Down syndrome is one of the most common chromosomal abnormalities among newborns (Ergaz 2017, Glivetic 2015).

Breastfeeding is highly recommended for babies with Down syndrome (n/a 2014) as it provides prevention from infections and celiac disease (Weijerman 2013), from malocclusion with crossbite and open bite (Oliveira 2011 and 2010) and from acute leukemia ( Flores 2009) and facilitates the development of speech and language (Weijerman 2013).

Breastfeeding is possible for babies with Down syndrome. Babies with Down syndrome do not inevitably have initial feeding problems and can be breastfed successfully (Ergaz 2017, Raquel 2017, n/a 2014, Colón 2009, Aumonier 1983).

But less frequent breastfeeding has been found among babies with Down syndrome than in the general neonate population (Glivetic 2015, Weijerman 2008, Pisacane 2003), especially if they are very young (n/a 2014), have poor suction and cardiac malformation ( Aumonier 1983) or are admitted and separated from their mothers (Colón 2009).

Self-confidence and maternal perseverance (Raquel 2017, Aumonier 1983) together with active support for breastfeeding, education and collaboration between members of the health care team and the collaboration of breastfeeding specialists (LLL Faq 2016, T. Board 2008) are essential for the successful breastfeeding and should become a relevant health monitoring point for children with Down syndrome (Nal 2014, Pisacane 2003, Colón 2009).

There are specific growth charts for girls and boys with Down syndrome.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM´s pediatricians and pharmacists, and are based on updated scientific publications.
It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Down Syndrome is also known as


Down Syndrome belongs to this group or family:


  1. Raquel B. Síndrome de Down y lactancia materna, nuestra historia. APILAM blog. 2018 Full text (link to original source)
  2. Ergaz-Shaltiel Z, Engel O, Erlichman I, Naveh Y, Schimmel MS, Tenenbaum A. Neonatal characteristics and perinatal complications in neonates with Down syndrome. Am J Med Genet A. 2017 Abstract
  3. Raquel A. Lactancia, Síndrome de Down y cardiopatía congénita, el testimonio de una madre. APILAM blog. 2017 Full text (link to original source)
  4. LLL FAQ. Is it possible to breastfeed my baby who was born with Down Syndrome? La Leche League International 2016 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  5. Glivetic T, Rodin U, Milosevic M, Mayer D, Filipovic-Grcic B, Seferovic Saric M. Prevalence, prenatal screening and neonatal features in children with Down syndrome: a registry-based national study. Ital J Pediatr. 2015 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  6. Ministerio de Salud de Uruguay Lactancia materna en bebé con Trisomía 21 (Síndrome de Down). 2015 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. [No authors listed] Patient Information. Caring for your baby with Down syndrome. Am Fam Physician. 2014 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  8. Weijerman M, Broers CJ, van der Plas RN. [New insights into the support of children with Down syndrome]. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2013 Abstract
  9. Oliveira AC, Paiva SM, Martins MT, Torres CS, Pordeus IA. Prevalence and determinant factors of malocclusion in children with special needs. Eur J Orthod. 2011 Abstract
  10. Oliveira AC, Pordeus IA, Torres CS, Martins MT, Paiva SM. Feeding and nonnutritive sucking habits and prevalence of open bite and crossbite in children/adolescents with Down syndrome. Angle Orthod. 2010 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  11. Flores-Lujano J, Perez-Saldivar ML, Fuentes-Pananá EM, Gorodezky C, Bernaldez-Rios R, Del Campo-Martinez MA, Martinez-Avalos A, Medina-Sanson A, Paredes-Aguilera R, De Diego-Flores Chapa J, Bolea-Murga V, Rodriguez-Zepeda MC, Rivera-Luna R, Palomo-Colli MA, Romero-Guzman L, Perez-Vera P, Alvarado-Ibarra M, Salamanca-Gómez F, Fajardo-Gutierrez A, Mejía-Aranguré JM. Breastfeeding and early infection in the aetiology of childhood leukaemia in Down syndrome. Br J Cancer. 2009 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  12. Colón E, Dávila-Torres RR, Parrilla-Rodríguez AM, Toledo A, Gorrín-Peralta JJ, Reyes-Ortiz VE. Exploratory study: barriers for initiation and/or discontinuation of breastfeeding in mothers of children with Down syndrome. P R Health Sci J. 2009 Abstract
  13. Weijerman ME, van Furth AM, Vonk Noordegraaf A, van Wouwe JP, Broers CJ, Gemke RJ. Prevalence, neonatal characteristics, and first-year mortality of Down syndrome: a national study. J Pediatr. 2008 Abstract
  14. Teresa Board. Amamantando a un bebé con Síndrome de Down. La Liga de la Leche. 2008 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  15. Pisacane A, Toscano E, Pirri I, Continisio P, Andria G, Zoli B, Strisciuglio P, Concolino D, Piccione M, Lo Giudice C, Vicari S. Down syndrome and breastfeeding. Acta Paediatr. 2003 Abstract
  16. Aumonier ME, Cunningham CC. Breast feeding in infants with Down's syndrome. Child Care Health Dev. 1983 Abstract

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