After nine long months, your baby is finally in your arms, and he delights you with every move he makes. As a first time mom, motherhood can overwhelm you and your little darling’s slightest discomfort can make you terribly anxious.
One such anxiety is feeding problems. What if he refuses to feed? Or isn’t able to no matter how hard you try? Relax! It is completely normal. Read our post to understand the why and how of feeding problems, and how you can help your infant deal with them.
Causes Of Feeding Problems In Infants:
Your infant needs breast milk, especially during the initial stages of development. Some possible causes of baby feeding problems include:
- Anatomical abnormalities such as cleft palate.
- Heart disease.
- Metabolic disorders.
- Central nervous system disorders.
- Gastrointestinal conditions such as Chron’s disease.
- Cerebral palsy.
- Sensory defects.
- Problems latching on to the breast.
- Insufficient milk production.
- Swollen, hard breasts which make it difficult for the baby to feed.
- Sore nipples.
[ Read: Symptoms Of Metabolic Disorder In Babies ]
Symptoms Of Feeding Disorders In Infants:
How do you know your infant has feeding problems? Well, you check for some symptoms, which include:
- Refusing breastfeeding.
- Irritability especially while you try to feed him.
- Stiffness of the body as you try to feed him.
- Frequent spitting up or vomiting.
- Coughing or gagging.
- Long feeding times.
- Refusal of other food or liquids.
- Crying while feeding.
- Weight gain and growth less than normal.
- Co-ordination problems while eating and drinking.
- Food or liquid coming out through the nose.
These feeding disorders in infants can lead to poor nutrient uptake and dehydration while increasing the risk of pneumonia or upper respiratory tract infections, which can in turn, lead to chronic lung diseases.
[ Read: Newborn Baby Breastfeeding Schedule ]
Managing Feeding Problems In Infants:
It is important to diagnose and treat the condition quickly, as your infant’s nutrition is at stake. Consult a pediatrician and understand different possible ways you could help your baby feed more effectively.
Depending upon the severity of your little one’s condition, consider following some of the tips we list here.
- Increase the number of calories and liquid that your baby takes.
- A short period of hospitalization.
- Try to improve his mineral and nutrient uptake.
- Identify whether any underlying illnesses are contributing to the disease.
- Establish a regular feeding routine spaced apart every few hours.
- Try different positions to see what is comfortable for him.
- Express milk using your fingers to help your baby get the idea that he’s being fed.
- Create a comfortable atmosphere:
- Choose airy and well-lit rooms for feeding, and dress him in soft, comfortable clothing.
- Continue trying to feed him, even if he has trouble latching onto your breast. Eventually, he’ll be able to consume some amount of milk, which will encourage him to try more. The feeding will also reduce any toughened tissue, soreness or hardness in your breast, which interferes with your baby’s feeding.
Working on a combination of these strategies along with your doctor’s advice will help you manage feeding problems in babies.
So, don’t worry! Most babies develop feeding problems and using some of the tips here will help your little darling. However, the doctor’s word is what you need to follow.
We hope you found our post about feeding and eating disorders of infancy and early childhood useful. Did your little one contract feeding problems? Did you use any of the tips we list above? How did you help him overcome it? Share your story with other moms below. Leave a comment.
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