Get answers to your child's growth, nutrition, and feeding behavior questions.
Nonorganic failure to thrive
Treatment of failure to thrive is a major undertaking which requires the input of a multidisciplinary team including physicians, nutritionists, social workers, behavioral specialists, and visiting nurses.
Many programs are available for young parents, single parents, and parents having other problems. Referrals should be made as early as possible to appropriate programs.
Helping extended family members recognize that a problem exists and recruiting their help will provide increased support for the mother and infant.
With adequate attention and care, full recovery is expected. However, neglect severe enough to cause failure to thrive can kill if it continues.
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if your child does not seem to be growing or developing normally. Also, ask for the provider's advice if you think you don't know how to properly care for your child, or if you are overwhelmed by feelings of sadness or other problems, and fear you may harm your baby.
Postpartum depression and other mental illnesses may make caregivers feel hopeless and unable to properly care for their children, but there are resources and help available -- there is no shame in asking for help.
Bauchner H. Failure to thrive. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 37.
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