When you reflect on your childhood, do you recall feeling pressured to eat a certain food or meal? For me, it was meatloaf. I instantly knew when I asked my mom what’s for dinner and she said meatloaf, that is was going to be a terrible night.
Weight gain, or the lack thereof, is often the reason that children are put on feeding tubes. And though parents learn to accept a small bit of loss during the weaning process, often the question remains as to when they might see their child begin to gain again post-wean. So let’s see if we might understand what to expect by looking at how orally-eating children typically gain weight.
The do’s and don’ts of pre-weaning can be difficult to assess and navigate. In particular, many families wonder about their child’s tolerance of tube feeds and how they might adjust in order to make the experience more comfortable and conducive to oral intake. Blended diets, in particular, spark curiosity, so let’s take a look at how they might factor into your child’s pre-weaning stage.
Parents whose children have struggled similarly to mine often face significant trauma triggers, and sometimes, our response to these triggers can unnecessarily stall the progress we make in weaning our children safely from feeding tubes. The minute we hear a cough or baby cry, the second there’s a gag, cough or hiccup – panic sets in. Because to a medically complex kiddo, every scenario feels like a medical emergency, even if it isn’t.
While swallow studies are a useful piece of the puzzle surrounding whether or not your child is able to swallow food and drink safely, they rarely provide us with an absolute, comprehensive picture of what’s going on during typical mealtimes. So, let’s take a look at how swallow studies are conducted, what kind of insight they provide, and how we ought to interpret their results.