Sunday, August 30, 2009

Feeding therapy

At our last doctor visit- for Kyla's weight check- our Pediatrician suggested we look into some feeding therapy for our angel girl. At 3 months, Kyla has proved to be a very fussy eater and has been very inconsistent with the amount of formula she drinks at a time. Consequently, her sleep and mood has been affected and as for a schedule, well, we don't have one for her.

I took her this past week to visit a Pediatric Occupational Therapist. She was a younger girl, who said she used to work at the Children's hospital, and was the only one in our Health Care system that had any experience with feeding issues in infants. I was so happy to have had her evaluate Kyla! She felt around inside Kyla's mouth - her cheeks, her tongue, her palate. She attempted to have our girl suck on her finger, to try and get a sense of how her sucking was. She was able to see that Kyla gags at times when things are in her mouth. The OT mentioned that Kyla appeared to have a high palate, but that that typically wouldn't be cause for concern. However, because our girl had issues getting a good suck on the nipple of the bottle, that might have been a contributing factor to her eating issues. She also mentioned Kyla's upper lip appeared tighter than usual. She approved of our bottle choice- we use Medala bottles- and we discussed nipples and sizes (flow). We have been using a size 2 nipple- as the size 1 nipple (least amount of flow- was too much work for Kyla to get anything out of. The size 2 appeared to agree with her; initially, she was choking on the flow, but has gotten used to this. She only chokes if she gets too excited and tries to eat too much at once.

The OT then showed me how to first give Kyla some input by doing a simple stretching-type exercise with her upper lip. We're to do this previous to feedings each time. Then, we have a new way of feeding our girl. We hold the bottle in the same hand that we are supporting Kyla on our arm (so left arm holding her, left arm comes around to hold bottle). Then, with our right hand, we squeeze her cheeks along the jaw line and put our middle finger under her chin for support. All this manipulation makes our girl look like a chubby faced chipmunk, but immediately, Kyla had a better latch on the bottle and was able to suck down 5 ounces in no time at all! It was amazing!

I stopped at Daycare/Elaine's to show Elaine how to do this at feeding times - looking like an octopus in my opinion- and to go over the lip stretching exercises as well.

Since then, Kyla has dramatically improved her eating- she is taking in much more quantity at a time, and is sleeping for longer periods of time. On Friday night, she slept from 9PM to 5AM! Unbelievable! This didn't happen last night, but she is sleeping better - napping wise. She is also suddenly MORE alert and is cooing and attempting to interact with us so much more. I'm not sure if that is because of more food in her system, but it sure does coincide with the better eating. She even had her first belly laughs the other day, and is such a happy girl all the time!

We'll be going back to visit the doctor in a month to have her re-evaluate Kyla's progress and mouth and see what happens after that.

1 comment:

Marketing Mama said...

This is awesome. It's amazing how that change in position made such a difference! Hope everything continues to go well. :)


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