Our newest project is designed to inspire, encourage, and prepare mothers of babies with Down syndrome to breastfeed their babies. According to our research 20-30% of women are told that their babies with DS are not as capable of breastfeeding as other children. These mothers report feeling unsupported when speaking with their medical professionals about breastfeeding their babies. Our project is aimed at both mothers and medical professionals, seeking to empower mothers to advocate for themselves and their babies and to educate medical professionals about the unique challenges some babies with DS encounter. To that end, we also plan to provide concrete tools to both mothers and professionals.
We have already launched the first phase of the project, a brochure, available in multiple languages; an inspirational video; and a photo shoot of 10 mothers breastfeeding their babies with Down syndrome, with excellent results. Our photos and video have been shared by Love What Matters and Popsugar Moms as well as by several national and international Breastfeeding and Down syndrome organizations. The photos have also inspired Julie Bernichan, of LCI, a French news agency, to write an article on breastfeeding and babies with Down syndrome. Our project has also been featured on the blog Our Milky Way.
Our video, Nursing Down syndrome, has been an integral part of this project and was designed to support and empower new and expectant mothers to breastfeed their babies with Down syndrome and to encourage medical professionals to support this important process. Learn more about the project.
Additionally, our new book Breastfeeding and Down Syndrome: A Comprehensive Guide for Mothers and Medical Professionals is now available. This book is an evidenced-based guide written by experts in their fields. It will serve as a comprehensive resource for new mothers and a trusted source for medical professionals seeking information on how to help babies with Down syndrome breastfeed successfully. Our book is available as a free download and a print version will be available for purchase. All proceeds are returned directly to Julia’s Way to further our mission to support women who want to breastfeed their babies with Down syndrome.
The second phase will be composed of two additional exciting project. The first project is to develop a certification program for lactation consultants and other medical professionals who wish to gain expertise in supporting mothers to breastfeed their babies with Down syndrome. In the second project, we will develop a peer network of mothers who have breastfed their babies with Down syndrome and who have a passion for this work. These women will learn basic breastfeeding strategies, share breastfeeding information, and provide one-on-one support to mothers in their area. Professional help is essential, but having positive interaction with someone who has “been there, done that” is invaluable.
Our ultimate goal is to have our materials available in every new parent packet distributed by every local and regional DS organization and DS medical clinic in the United States and Canada and to create a diverse network of medical professionals who are knowledgeable and mothers who can support and encourage each other.
We are currently seeking funding to help us meet our goals and we need your help. Please contribute to our project by making a donation. All donations are fully tax deductible
What people are saying about our book
Our book, Nursing and Down Syndrome: A Comprehensive Guide for Mothers and Medical Professionals is available now! Get your copies.
What people are saying:
“Breastfeeding babies with Down syndrome is not only possible, but important—a gift packed with health benefits for moms and babies alike. This book is an essential resource for all new parents who are beginning their remarkable journey with a newborn who has Down syndrome.” – DR. BRIAN SKOTKO, MD, MPP, Emma Campbell Endowed Chair on Down Syndrome, Massachusetts General Hospital & Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School
“This is a comprehensive guide for new moms (and their care providers!) on the breastfeeding journey with a new child with Down syndrome.” – JEN JACOB, Executive Director: Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network, Author: The Parent’s Guide to Down Syndrome: Advice, Information, Inspiration, and Support for Raising Your Child from Diagnosis through Adulthood
“I am delighted to recommend wholeheartedly the comprehensive and supportive Breastfeeding & Down Syndrome to both families and the professionals who serve them. Why is it the best resource I’ve seen on nursing babies with Down syndrome? Its information is fully referenced and state-of-the-art. Its illustrations make its helpful strategies simple to use. Its Pro Tips from expert clinicians provide practical approaches to medically challenging issues. Its Mom Tips offer the perfect antidotes to common frustrations. And the wisdom and insights contained in its personal stories include a range of experiences that will benefit families and professionals alike. Thank you, Julia’s Way, for creating this incomparable book!”
– NANCY MOHRBACHER, IBCLC, FILCA, Author: Breastfeeding Solutions and the Breastfeeding Solutions smartphone app
“I wish this book had been around when I was trying to figure out how to breastfeed my son. Breastfeeding & Down Syndrome will give you the best strategies to establish a breastfeeding relationship with your baby.”
– STEPHANIE MEREDITH, Mom of Andy, co-author of Welcoming a Newborn with Down Syndrome: A New Parent’s Guide to the First Month