Not only adults can suffer from heart-related diseases, but children can too, and children with heart disease need twice as much time for care as adults. There are many types of heart disease in children, including congenital heart disease, other genetic diseases or health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc., which may affect the heart.
However, with the advancement of modern medical technology, children with heart disease can still grow up smoothly. However, in addition to medical treatment, they also need dietary care, especially children with congenital heart disease. This article will describe the development of children with heart disease and the nutrients they need.
Fast metabolism and insufficient nutritional intake
The amount of nutritional intake will affect the growth and development of children with heart disease. In particular, children with heart disease need more nutrients and calories than ordinary children because their hearts beat faster than ordinary people and they need to eat more to supply their body. . Because the metabolism of children with heart disease is faster than that of ordinary people, heart defects will put stress on the body, making children with heart disease more likely to feel tired.
When children with heart disease are babies, they may stop drinking milk halfway because they are too tired, or even fall asleep. Older children may be picky eaters and say they are full after only a few mouthfuls of food. I even told my parents that I should take a break before eating.
In addition, children with heart disease may also be unable to absorb nutrients correctly due to lack of oxygen in their intestines. Therefore, even if children with heart disease need more calories and nutrients to maintain their weight, they are more likely to be too tired to eat or have poor metabolism. Loss of opportunity for nutritional supplementation.
3 ways to ensure you get enough nutrients
Your doctor, nurse practitioner, or nutritionist may be able to tell you about things you need to do to maintain the nutrients your child with congenital heart disease needs. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the following three methods can help children with heart disease get enough nutrients:
- High-calorie breast milk or formula milk powder
You can add nutritional supplements to breast milk or formula, so that even if the baby drinks less, he can still get enough calories and nutrients. In addition, the caregiver can also adjust the frequency and time of feeding. In terms of breastfeeding, assuming that the mother breastfeeds every three hours, a normal baby will drink approximately 113 grams of milk (equivalent to 8 feedings a day, 907 grams of milk). You can adjust to feeding 85 grams every two hours. , which is equivalent to feeding 12 times a day.
For formula milk powder, you can discuss with your doctor or nutritionist which formula milk powder on the market is most suitable for your baby, and observe whether the baby’s weight increases to confirm whether the baby is absorbing enough nutrients.
- Tube feeding and feeding
For some babies, drinking only breast milk or formula milk is not nutritious enough. They also need to have a nasogastric tube inserted. The tube is connected to the stomach through the baby’s nose. Whether it is breast milk or formula milk, it can be directly fed through the tube. Entering the baby’s stomach, other feeding methods such as gastrostomy tube and jejunostomy tube are also common.
- High-calorie foods and snacks
When the baby can start eating solid food, it can be paired with high-calorie foods. Although it is necessary to feed high-calorie foods and snacks, please remember to give the baby a balanced diet, so avoid sugary foods or junk foods. Foods that are high in calories and nutritious, such as bananas, mangoes, passion fruit, beets, frozen vegetables, chicken and chicken soup.
4 reasons for slow development
Children with congenital heart disease are generally smaller in appearance than children of the same age. Their developmental milestones, such as turning over, sitting, walking, speaking, and learning to use the toilet, may be slower than others. There are four reasons why they develop slowly:
- Genetically inherited heart defects can affect the thinking and development of children with heart disease.
- Inadequate body nutrition intake will make children with heart disease lack physical strength, which will affect the development of their muscles, bones, brain and nerve cells.
- Insufficient nutritional intake makes children with heart disease tired easily, making it difficult to keep up with children of the same age in studies.
- Frequent or prolonged hospitalization can deprive children with heart disease of external stimulation, including playing, talking, hugging and touching other people, which can cause developmental delays.
As parents of a child with heart disease, you can gently comfort your child after the operation. Whether it is gentle patting or gentle whispering, it is very effective. Spend more time with your child; you can also take your child’s favorite toys with you. Toys, blankets and other items are placed in the hospital to give children peace of mind. When the child returns home from the hospital, if his health permits, let him play with his siblings more often. Just be careful not to engage in too strenuous activities.