Facilitating and Managing Breastfeeding In At-Risk Babies: Collaboration Between Feeding Therapies and Lactation Consultant

April 29, 2021 2:30 pm

This presentation will instruct participants on the health, neurodevelopmental and oral structural shaping benefits that breastfeeding can have on babies with special needs and how favorable breastfeeding outcomes can result from collaboration between feeding therapists and IBCLCs. Through lecture, discussion and video presentations of complicated breastfeeding cases, participants will better understand their vital role in understanding breastfeeding and educating families on the importance and impact of early feeding choices. Participants will also understand the importance of their role in supporting and advocating for mothers of high-risk babies who may not be able to establish a full milk supply or actually breastfeed, but whose babies would benefit from the provision of breast milk. Populations discussed will include: babies with Down syndrome, babies with medical conditions such as congenital heart defects and TE fistula, as well as feeding aversion and dysphagia. Interventional techniques, such as “bridge” feeding devices, positioning and tummy time will also be reviewed.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this session, attendees will be able to:

  • Name at least three benefits of providing breast milk to at-risk babies
  • Name three bridge devices/and or techniques to use in helping to establish breastfeeding and provision of breast milk
  • Name at least two ways that the act of breastfeeding impacts oral structural development
  • Name at least three ways they can collaborate with a lactation consultant to educate and assist moms of high-risk babies in establishing a breast milk supply and/or providing donor milk


  • Jill Rabin M.S. CCC-SLP/L IBCLC

    Jill Rabin is a pediatric speech pathologist and international board certified lactation consultant who has been working with the 0 to 3 population for 34 years. Her areas of specialty include facilitating breastfeeding in at-risk populations, assisting babies with feeding aversion and use of the modified baby-led weaning approach to transition babies with special needs to solids. She has done national and international webinars and presentations on these subjects. She contributed two chapters to the book Breastfeeding and Down syndrome and has written three blog posts on breastfeeding babies with Down syndrome on www.juliasway.org. She also wrote an essay and was quoted in the tenth anniversary edition of Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett’s Baby-Led Weaning book. She was featured as a guest on the Untethered Podcast, episode 31, in December 2019 and spoke about feeding difficulties in children with special needs.

    Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

    Non-financial Disclosures:Serves as a member of ASHA; Member of USCLA; Board Member for Julia’s Way; Member of Northern Illinois Lactation Consultant Association


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