Nutritional and dietary home medical supplies for children

home medical supplies for children

Umbilical cords are arguably the first home medical supplies for children, as they are the sole source of nutrients for unborn children.  After birth, the newborn switches to breast milk, and that’s where feeding problems may begin to arise. For instance, the mother may make use of lactation rooms after returning to work, have a low milk supply, develop engorgement, or need to take medication that affects breast milk, or perhaps the baby is not latching properly, is hospitalized after birth, or refuses or can’t nurse. All of those are reasons for using a breast pump.

A breast pump is a device used to help promote the extraction of milk from the breasts of a lactating mother. Breast pumps can be either manual or electric, and usually come together with a number of bottles in for the dual purpose of storing the milk and feeding the baby. Moreover, accessories may include totes and carry-all bags as well to help with the transportation of supplies. It’s worthy of noting that even when breast pumps are used the baby still receives its mother’s milk. For those women who for some reason can’t feed their babies directly, a pump is the next breast thing.

Ideally, the child will grow and reach an age when they become able to feed themselves. Even so, they may still face nutritional problems, prompting parents to resort to enteral feeding. In other words, feeding the child through a gastrostomy tube (inserted directly into the stomach), a nasogastric tube (inserted through the nose and down the intestine), or a jejunostomy tube (inserted directly into the intestine). There are several conditions that can lead to the use of enteral tubes and pumps, such as aspiration, malabsorption, reflux, and others. Often, children with these issues are fed liquid formula.   

Another condition that can affect a child’s diet is dysphagia, a medical problem characterized by the difficulty or inability to swallow food. In infants and children, dysphagia may be caused by nervous system disorders like cerebral palsy and meningitis, or by a cleft lip or cleft palate. Swallowing difficulties stemming from dysphagia are addressed with home medical supplies for children known as food and beverage thickeners. Thickening agents increase the viscosity of solid foods and liquids and help them reach a consistency that renders them safe and easy to swallow, while at the same time preserving the flavor of the food or drink.

Finally, there is one instance in which a condition doesn’t interfere with a child’s eating habits, but where a specific diet can improve the condition. This is the case of epilepsy and ketogenic diet. A high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet which prompts the organism to burn fats instead of carbohydrates is helpful in treating refractory epilepsy in children. Carbohydrates are normally converted into glucose. However, in the absence of carbs the liver converts fat into ketone bodies, which pass into the brain and take the place of glucose as a source of energy. A high blood level of ketone bodies contributes to decrease epileptic seizure frequency. Ketogenic formulas like Nutricia North America KetoCal 4:1 and 3:1 Oral Supplement are used to implement such a diet.