Infant Difficulty Sucking, Swallowing, and Eating as a Birth Disorder Symptom

A baby with difficulty sucking could indicate a variety of health problems  including:

  • Brain hemorrhage
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Infant botulism
  • Down syndrome

Brain Hemorrhaging

An infant with difficulty swallowing can indicate a brain hemorrhage. When this occurs, it means there is bleeding of the brain. This could be due to a ruptured vessel or a flood in the brain. Other symptoms that you should remain aware of include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness in an arm or leg

Typically, the doctor will diagnose a brain hemorrhage through an MRI or CT scan.

Cerebral Palsy

When an infant has difficulty swallowing, this could also indicate CP. This birth disorder often happens when a child experiences an injury at birth. A child that suffers from cerebral palsy can have a difficult time with muscle function and develop further problems through childhood. Many times, the children who have this condition will look malnourished because of difficulty swallowing.  As a result, the child may also struggle to control fine muscle movements. Typically, a doctor will diagnose this condition using an MRI or a CT scan.

What Happens if Your Child Gets a Diagnosis for CP?

Let’s say that the doctor looked at the results of the test and confirmed that your child has CP. Where do you go from there? You will want to speak with a dietician because children who have this condition will need to have an alternate solution to deal with their difficulty swallowing and eating. It is important to take as many measures as possible to keep your child healthy and provide him or her with any additional supplements necessary.

With an infant that has difficulty sucking, you need to stay vigilant because it could indicate that your child has a serious condition. It is a priority to protecting your child as much as you can. Many children may experience temporary problems with feeding, but this doesn’t always indicate a birth injury. However, you should take them in to see a doctor as soon as possible to get a diagnosis. Your child’s doctor can further evaluate and educate you more about the condition, and discuss recommendations moving forward to help manage the condition.  If your child receives a diagnosis due to a birth injury, that next step could be speaking with a legal professional.

Editor

Rae S, Editor

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Expert

Elena Amato Borrelli, Expert

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