ZocdocAnswersHow do you nurse a child with Crohn's Disease?

Question

How do you nurse a child with Crohn's Disease?

I have a family history of Crohn's Disease, and my infant daughter is already showing some warning signs of digestive trouble. I'm having her tested now. If she is diagnosed as having Crohn's Disease, what should I know about nursing her?

Answer

Having a family history of Crohn's disease does not necessarily mean that your infant daughter has Crohn's disease. In fact, developing Crohn's disease during infancy would be exceedingly rare, as this is usually a disease that develops later in childhood or adolescence. On the other hand, there are many other potential causes of digestive troubles in infants that are very common. Some of these could include an intolerance to cow's milk or another formula component. This could cause fussiness, blood in th bowel movements, spitting, and trouble gaining weight. If this turns out to be what is going on, sometimes it will resolve if you eliminate dairy from your own diet (if you are breastfeeding) whereas sometimes special formulas are needed. Another very common problem is gastroesophageal reflux disease. This can result in large spits with feeds or choking or gagging while feeding. Usually this resolves on its own over time, but sometimes special positions while feeding, anti acid medications, or thickening the milk with cereal are needed. Please see your pediatrician, who will also consider if a more serious problem is going on - such as an anatomic abnormality in the intestines - and, if this is a possibility, will order some more testing.

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