WHAT IS NEONATAL (NEWBORN) FEED INTOLERANCE? | Dr. Yeibake Weriwoyingipre Silver

Neonatal feeding intolerance refers to a condition in which a newborn baby experiences difficulties in tolerating and digesting food. It can manifest as various symptoms, including feeding difficulties, vomiting, regurgitation, slow weight gain, abdominal distension or bloating, excessive crying during or after feeding, excessive flatulence, refusal to eat, fatigue, diarrhoea, bloody stools, colic, and rashes. 
There can be multiple factors contributing to neonatal feeding intolerance. However, common causes include, an immature digestive system, inappropriate feed constitution, poor feeding technique, gastrointestinal issues such as gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), intestinal obstruction, or malformations within the digestive tract, infections affecting the gastrointestinal tract, and certain genetic or metabolic disorders that impair the baby's ability to metabolize (breakdown and absorb) specific nutrients. 

Feeding intolerance is an important condition that requires specialist intervention. Fortunately, mild cases may be managed on an outpatient basis from the home with planned follow-up visits to the hospital, otherwise, admission and management in a neonatal (newborn) ward is unavoidable.

Diagnosing neonatal feeding intolerance involves thorough medical evaluations, including physical examinations, blood tests, imaging studies, and sometimes specialized procedures.

Treatment depends on the underlying cause in addition to measures aimed at altering the concentration of formula or breast milk, changing the feeding position, or adjusting the feeding technique to appropriate patterns and use of medications like acid suppressants or prokinetic agents to manage reflux or improve gastric motility.

In severe cases, intravenous fluids and Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) may be necessary.

Treatment plans will vary depending on the specific cause of feeding intolerance. This may involve surgical intervention for structural abnormalities or treating infections with appropriate antibiotics.

It is important for parents to work closely with healthcare professionals to determine the cause of feeding intolerance and develop an individualized treatment plan for their newborn. Early intervention and management are essential for the baby's overall health and nutrition.

Author: Dr. Yeibake, Weriwoyingipre Silver.

Post a Comment