GOLD Learning Speakers

Australia

Heather Miller, RN (Disability), Cert IV in Breastfeeding Education (Community)

  • Speaker Type: Breastfeeding and Medically Complex Infants Lecture Pack 2020
  • Country: Australia
Biography:

Educator with the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA). She has a particular interest in breastfeeding and Down syndrome after her son was born with Down syndrome in 2014. Her journey of breastfeeding her son included a long inpatient hospitalization stay due to his treatment for cancer. She has worked in disability services for over 20 years including community learning disability nursing in the UK, supporting GPs to manage the heath needs of people with complex health conditions and intellectual disability, medical undergraduate education in intellectual disability and currently works in general practice as a Practice Disability Nurse. Heather facilitates Breastfeeding Education Classes to expectant parents, is a Trainer & Assessor in ABA’s training team and provides guidance and contributes to publications on breastfeeding a baby with Down syndrome.

CE Library Presentation(s) Available Online:
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Note: Currently only available through a bundled series of lectures
Yes You Can! Breastfeeding A Baby With Down Syndrome
As a health professional you may find yourself supporting a mother who is breastfeeding or requires support to breastfeed her baby with Down syndrome. Babies with Down syndrome can often have additional health needs, which may affect how successful they are with breastfeeding. Down syndrome or trisomy 21 is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability for around 1 in 700 births worldwide. People with Down syndrome are not all the same but may have similar characteristic physical features, health and developmental challenges and some level of intellectual disability. Research has shown many benefits associated with breastfeeding a baby with Down syndrome. It contributes to establishing long term skill development, particularly with speech and feeding skills, as well as aiding brain growth. It also provides an opportunity for mother baby bonding during stressful periods after learning of their baby’s diagnosis. Regardless of these known benefits, some mothers may nevertheless be told their baby will not be able breastfeed. This presentation will explore some of the common challenges mothers may face when breastfeeding a baby with Down syndrome and tips on how to address these for the mother and baby. The material presented will also assist health professionals to support mothers with babies who may have similar health/developmental needs.
Hours / CE Credits: 1 (details)  |  Categories: Breastfeeding and Lactation