The symptoms of FGIDs can cause discomfort for an infant and huge amounts of stress for parents. Once satisfied the infant has no serious underlying disease, there are a number of ways healthcare professionals can approach the problem, ensuring any intervention plan attends to both the infant and the family1, these include:
First and foremost, parents need support. It is important to consider that concerns about FGIDs are not only about the infant’s symptoms, but also about the family’s wellbeing. It is necessary to, not only make a diagnosis, but also recognise the impact of the symptom(s) on the family’s emotions and ability to function1.
Once you have reassured the parents, practical tips and advice can help, such as teaching appropriate responses to their infants, more effective soothing, and where appropriate, reviewing their feeding practices2-3.
Breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for infants and provides many benefits8. In managing digestive problems in infants, it is important to avoid the use of drugs and invasive procedures where possible. Nutritional management is generally the preferred option9.
Medical management can be considered as an option if nutritional management does not suffice.