What To Watch For When Your Infant Has Trouble Feeding: Infant Aspiration

What To Watch For When Your Infant Has Trouble Feeding: Infant Aspiration

Aspirating is when something enters your airway by accident, this could be food, or liquid.  Anyone can aspirate, at any age.  It becomes a problem when it starts causing other problems.  If you aspirate too much it can cause pneumonia.  There are a lot of reasons why someone may aspirate.  It can because the muscles don’t work correctly to swallow. Infants can aspirate too.  Infants can aspirate because of a cleft palate, problems with esophagus, being born premature, or suffering from another condition such as down syndrome, brain damage, cerebral palsy, neuromuscular disease, or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). 

 

Symptoms

Though there are a lot of causes, some aspiration isn’t harmful.  It is only when it happens a lot that it can be harmful.  There are a lot of symptoms.  Some babies though don’t sign any symptoms which is called silent aspiration.  Symptoms can happen immediately after eating or may not happen at all.  Your baby doesn’t have to have all the symptoms to be aspirating. 

The symptoms are difficulty feeding, coughing during drinking, gagging during meals, back arching during feeding, redness around the eyes during feeding, vomiting during feeding, rattling in chest, frequent breathing difficulties, poor growth, watery eyes, stopping breathing while feeding, or even faster breathing while eating.  This list is long, and some of the symptoms can be bec