Why babies won’t eat

Why babies won’t eat
August 03 13:27 2016

Food refusal is one of the critical issues that most parent face while nursing an infant. When babies refuse food, it causes stress and worries for the parent, most especially the mother.

When this happens, the first thing to do is to contact your pediatrician. The pediatrician will examine the baby so as to accurately determine the exact thing that is going in with the baby. Sometimes babies refuse to eat because an acid reflux might be going on in their bodies which can be solved by the doctor changing some parts of the treatment being given to your child.

Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER), also known as acid reflux occurs when gastric content moves back into the oesophagus. Sometimes in babies, this anomaly does not show any obvious symptoms while in adults the most common symptom is heartburn but the moment your child is crying excessively or shows signs of malaise then prompt investigation should be carried out for GER whether there is esophagitis or not.

When your child is suffering from esophagitis, he/she will refuse to eat and in the case of infants, tube feeding might be employed if they refuse oral feeding. However, the number of GER occurrence is increased with tube feeding and an explanation for infants refusing food is that peptic esophagitis is the causal agent for the heartburn or pain that comes with swallowing food. Consequently, infants will not eat when eating or swallowing the food brings them pain or when they are scared the food might bring them pain.

At times, to improve a child’s feeding, it is necessary to change the food formula being given to the child. Lactating mothers might be advised to stay away from some kinds of foods that can trigger reflux e.g. chocolate, onion, caffeine and garlic. A much more advanced elimination diets may further help measure if something a mother is eating is having adverse effects on the child through the nutrients being given to the baby through breastmilk.

When basic changes have been applied and they don’t seem to be working, the next point of action should be medication to reduce the acid like zantac or a proton pump inhibitor (PPI).

Zantac is really sensitive to weight so it should not be a thing of surprise if there is a need to adjust the dosage with a growth in the in infant. At the moment, Probiotics are being introduced to the anti-reflux arsenal by many physicians. Two of the most studied probiotics for GI issues are Acidophilus and Biffidus so if they must be added at all, please look out for those two in the ingredients. Most health food stores have chewable and liquid probiotics. If all these steps have been taken and your child is still not eating then an intervention by a specialist is in order. Your best bet is to find a pediatric GI and if you are able to find one that works with a children’s hospital then it is very possible that you would get the newest treatments and good testing facilities. Hopefully, after this step, your child will be eating properly again.

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