Feeding Infants with Down Syndrome

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dc.contributor.advisor Hiller, Elaine
dc.contributor.author Hansen, Terah
dc.date.accessioned 2011-05-23T18:54:36Z
dc.date.available 2011-05-23T18:54:36Z
dc.date.issued 2011
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10192/24372
dc.description.abstract Breastfeeding reduces the likelihood of selected adverse health outcomes such as postpartum depression in the mother and acute otitis media in the child. Learning to breastfeed can present challenges, however, and may become overwhelming to a parent. Infants with Down syndrome (DS) have physical features and medical issues that may complicate breastfeeding even further. While these characteristics have long been recognized, the experience of breastfeeding an infant with DS has not been previously assessed within the United States population. The purpose of the current study was to gather both qualitative and quantitative information pertaining to breastfeeding from mothers of children with DS. An online survey of 56 questions was posted on the websites of three different DS organizations. A total of 98 responses were collected. Rates of breastfeeding in this sample were found to be 84% for initiation (N=98) and 56% and 42% for duration to 6 and 12 months, respectively (N=78), all of which exceed the general population rates in the United States of 73%, 42%, and 21%. Previous breastfeeding experience, breastfeeding normality amongst the participant’s family and friends, birth order, and days spent in the hospital influenced breastfeeding, while congenital medical conditions, surgery, poor infant health, and belief in the capability of infants with DS to breastfeed did not. Substantial difficulty with breastfeeding was reported in relation to the diagnosis, however, which may have been partially the result of the reported inconsistency and deficiency of information that the participants were provided regarding breastfeeding an infant with DS. The overwhelming majority of v participants expressed the desire to breastfeed and described an increased motivation in response to the diagnosis, with the hope of improving their child’s health and development. These data provide more complete information that medical professionals may use when communicating with families of an infant with DS.
dc.description.sponsorship Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Brandeis University
dc.relation.ispartofseries Brandeis University Theses and Dissertations
dc.rights Copyright by Terah Hansen 2011
dc.subject Down syndrome
dc.subject Breastfeeding
dc.title Feeding Infants with Down Syndrome
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling
dc.degree.name MS
dc.degree.level Masters
dc.degree.discipline Genetic Counseling
dc.degree.grantor Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.description.esploro 2


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