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Why you should not ignore signs of feeding refusal in infants

Nutritional intake is an important issue in infancy and early childhood for physical and neurodevelopment growth. Some reports suggest, about 20%–30% of infants and toddlers tend to have feeding-related problems, which increase the risk of nutritional imbalance and can affect long-term outcomes if not treated properly.

Refusal of feeds in a small child is a symptom that should not be ignored, as it can indicate a serious underlying health condition or problem.

Some possible causes of feeding refusal in children can include dental problems, gastrointestinal issues, respiratory issues, ear infections, loss of appetite due to illnesses, and neurological disorders. Also, psychological factors like stress, anxiety, or trauma can lead to refusal of feeds.

Feeding difficulties in infants can be a frustrating and stressful experience for both the parents and the child. Here are some steps that can be taken to help address feeding difficulties in infants:

1. Try different feeding positions, such as sitting up, semi-reclined or side-lying, to find the one that is most comfortable for your baby and allows them to feed better.

2. Offer a variety of textures and gradually introduce different textures can help your young ones adjust to more solid foods

3. Learn your baby's hunger cues

4. Be patient as it may take time for your baby to adjust to new foods or textures.

5. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your child's feeding difficulties, don't hesitate to seek out support and consult with a paediatrician who can help to determine the underlying cause of the feeding difficulties and recommend the appropriate treatment.

Recently a rare neonatal surgery was performed at A.J Hospital.  A 24-day-old baby who was completely asymptomatic at the time of discharge came to the hospital with a history of refusing breast milk due to difficulty in breathing. Upon careful examination by the esteemed doctors at A.J hospital, it was concluded that the child has a rare cyst at the opening of the airway.  It was surgically corrected endoscopically using all the necessary advanced technology.  

A team of doctors including Dr. Prem Alva, Paediatric cardiologist, Dr. Ashwin Sriyan neonatologist, Dr. Gautham Kulamarva, ENT Surgeon and Paediatric airway specialist, Dr. Ganesh Kallakatta, Radiologist, Dr. Gururaj Tantry, Cardiac anaesthetist, and Dr Sandhya I, Pathologist performed this high-risk rare Neonatal Surgery and managed the intensive care successfully and discharged the child home in 10 days’ time. The cost was kept to a minimum by the management, after all, we at A.J hospital strive to deliver cutting-edge care at an affordable cost to the community.

You can read the complete details of this rare neonatal surgery published in the  Times of India.

Dr Prashanth Marla, director of AJ Hospital and Research Centre urges every parent to not ignore symptoms like refusal of feeds and seek medical attention immediately. What is a seemingly common symptom can sometimes be due to some serious underlying conditions. Timely intervention can save the child’s life. Speak to our paediatricians. 

To book an appointment with the best pediatricians at A.J. Hospital, Mangalore, call us at +91 824 222 5533.