Birth Injury

5 Diet Considerations for a Growing Child with a Birth Injury

Becoming a parent can be challenging for many individuals, especially when your child has a birth injury. These injuries occur during delivery and can be a source of pain for your offspring. Your child may have trouble moving, lifting their head, or show unusual symptoms that result in rushing to the ER frequently. Therefore, as a parent, it’s natural to worry about your child’s well-being and try different remedies that may help your baby heal.

What Is Birth Injury?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about seven in every one thousand children may have a birth injury. Common examples include cerebral palsy, fractures, and brain injuries.

Birth injuries are wounds or trauma that a newborn baby may experience during delivery. There are many reasons why this happens. In some instances, the mother may have a complicated pregnancy leading to hard labor resulting in a challenging birth. While in other circumstances, the medical staff assisting the delivery may neglect the mother’s well-being and handle the baby wrong, resulting in severe injuries. These include using forceps to pull the child, applying too much pressure on the baby’s limbs, or not providing the mother enough oxygen during labor.

The latter are all examples of medical malpractice. These unethical methods of handling you and your baby give you the right to sue all the practitioners in charge. By turning to legal entities like the Birth Injury Justice Center, you can get a reputable attorney to represent you in court and get your fair due. Medical malpractices are criminal offenses, and you shouldn’t hesitate to turn to the law for help.

Nutritional Considerations For Your Baby

When your child gets a well-balanced diet, it boosts immunity and enables cells and tissues to repair themselves, resulting in a marked improvement in their health.

You must supplement your child’s diet with physical therapy and medical intervention. When your baby is around four to six months, you can start introducing meals outside of milk to give them essential nutrients. If you’re caring for a child with birth injury and wondering what dietary considerations you need to provide your child with, here’s what you need to know:

Figure Out Feeding Methods

Your baby may not be ready to eat solid food yet. The lack of teeth and their birth injury can make nutrition intake hard. So your best way of giving them a better diet is to learn the different ways you can feed them. You can bottle feed your baby with nutritional supplements in liquid solutions like formula milk. Other examples include making a purée out of mashed ingredients and helping your child to swallow.

Babies with cerebral palsy have severe dysphagia, and encouraging them to take mashed-up morsels can help them swallow better. In extreme cases, you may need to use a feeding tube after a physician’s recommendation. This is the last resort for children who cannot eat, feel stressed at meal times, or may have a severe brain injury. The tube provides essential vitamins to your baby through the stomach or intestine.

Avoid Cow’s Milk

You may feel tempted to give your child cow’s milk since it is readily available in supermarkets, but you should avoid it altogether until they’re at least one year old. Cow’s milk doesn’t have enough iron, vitamin E, or an adequate amount of fatty acids your baby needs. The liquid is also too thick and rich in potassium which your baby cannot absorb, leading to kidney stones. Additionally, steer clear of soy milk and don’t try home remedies on your child to substitute for formula feed.

Use Vitamin Supplements.

If your baby has cerebral palsy, hemophilia, bleeding in the brain, or a fracture, they need vitamins to help their body heal. The most common vitamins include D and C, which give your child solid bones and aid in absorbing iron. These supplements also facilitate your baby in developing a robust immune system. The sun is an excellent source of vitamin D, but too much sunlight exposure can burn. So your best bet is to use a vitamin-liquid chewable tablet. These dissolve in the mouth and are easy to swallow. Before you use these, consult a nutritionist and a pediatrician who can guide you on safe administration. Some forms of vitamin D are so injectable.

Increase the Number of Calories.

The additional calories can give your child energy to carry out metabolic activities. You can use food packages such as ready-made puréed meals and powder mixes, or if you’re making a homemade meal, add extra steamed vegetables, mashed peas, or gravy to your baby’s diet. If your child has a birth injury that makes swallowing and chewing difficult, you may need a pediatrician’s help finding a suitable replacement. Some doctors may tell you to bottle feed the meals, while others may ask you to manually provide your baby and encourage swallowing by massaging their throat. Baby food that you can dissolve in water is also a suitable replacement.

Introduce Ketones.

Birth injuries such as brain damage can lead to seizures. So by restricting carbohydrates and providing more high-fat foods, you give neurons an alternative pathway to use energy. High fats lead to the production of ketones. These have an antiepileptic effect and give your child the energy they need, significantly reducing seizures. Meals that are best in fat include butter, meat, cheese, and most dairy products.

Final Thoughts

Dealing with a birth injury is not easy for any parent. Your baby may need a restricted lifestyle to prevent their trauma from escalating further. This may involve frequently visiting doctors and getting consulted on the best approach to your baby’s health. However, there is one factor of your child’s lifestyle that you can control, and that is their diet. Introducing certain dietary adjustments to your baby’s routine ensures they get the diet they need. These include getting the feeding method right, using supplements, and avoiding unsuitable options like cow’s milk.

You should also look into increasing your baby’s calorie intake and getting them on a ketone-intensive diet to prevent epileptic seizures from taking over.

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