Feeding Problems – Causes and Symptoms of Feeding Problems

Feeding problems arise in infancy or early childhood. It is a problem of an infant or a young child to gain weight as the child does not take proper amount of nutrients. Most of the children cannot absorb the food they take because they are affected with gastrointestinal problems. Feeding problems are often frustrating that makes the baby cry and wake up often.

Causes of Feeding Problems

Feeding problems depend on the child’s age and the mother’s health. The causes for feeding problems are:

Serious disease conditions: Some conditions such as cystic fibrosis, coeliac diseases, inflammatory bowel disease and food intolerance interfere with the absorption of food and weight gain.

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease: This disease affects the weight gain and makes the feeding difficult. Parents face a great stress in this condition.

Infections: Some bacterial infections or cold interrupt with the feeding habits of a child. Rarely the problems are prolonged.

Anatomical difficulties: Physical problems such as cleft lip palate or oesophageal narrowing lead to early feeding problems in a child.

Emotional and social factors:
Babies with less attention especially if the mother is working is also a cause for feeding problems. Poverty and parental misinformation are also other causes.

Symptoms of Feeding Problems

The following are the symptoms that arise due to feeding problems:

  • Behavioral problems
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting and regurgitating
  • Failing to gain weight normally
  • Repeated crying
  • Lack of appetite
  • Refusing food
  • Weight loss
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy (excessive sleepiness)
  • Stomach discomfort

Feeding problems cause fussiness and discomfort in babies, resulting in sleeping problems and frequent crying. For mothers who are breast feeding, the problem that arise is the early weaning from the breast. The feeding problems can be overcome with the right diagnosis and treatment. If the problems are not diagnosed and treated properly, it will result in the mother stopping the breast feeding.

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