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Feeding difficulties in children with esophageal atresia: treatment by a multidisciplinary team

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Published:25th Mar 2020
Esophageal atresia (EA) is one of the congenital neonatal anomalies whose immediate consequence for the newborn is the inability to feed. Most centers strive to minimize the effects of surgeries and subsequent postoperative complications such as esophageal strictures, respiratory problems, and gastrointestinal reflux on the child's ability or motivation to feed. Feeding difficulties in early infancy may not only interrupt maternal expectations of becoming providers of nutrition to their infants but may also influence the infant's development of sensory motor skills and parent´┐Żchild relationships. Early involvement by a multidisciplinary team consisting of occupational therapist, nutritionist, and psychologist is an important addition to the surgical and medical team. The team assists in preparing mothers for feeding-related difficulties, providing anticipatory guidance to improve feeding abilities and relationships, especially for children with multiple surgical involvements and prolonged periods of non-oral feeding.

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