Phoenix nonprofit brings awareness to pediatric feeding disorder

Arizona Gov. Ducey has proclaimed December as Pediatric Feeding Disorder Month, a little known issue that thousands of parents deal with every day.

The organization Feeding Matters is hoping to bring more awareness to the issue - letting parents know they're not along - while offering help and needed resources.

Dustin Bowers' son was born two months premature, weighing in at just 3 pounds and 3 ounces. Bowers says he frequently had problems with eating, but no one knew why.

"Every time they would increase his feeding size, he would throw up," Bowers said.

As he got older, they would continually have to coax him to eat, and would try anything to do so.

"He started refusing to eat and pulling away from the bottle and crying," Bowers said. "We just had to do anything in our power to get him to eat."

The baby was eventually diagnosed with reflux, and now has a feeding tube to assist him.

One in every 37 kids in the United States has pediatric feeding disorder (PFD), which encompasses a number of feeding issues. The organization Feeding Matters is hoping to bring more awareness to the issue.

"There is no consistent approach to feeding, and healthcare professionals were struggling just as much as families were, and that led to Feeding Matters being created to be that facilitator of change for pediatric feeding disorder," said Jaclyn Pedersen with Feeding Matters.

They're now working to help parents like the Bowers to let them know they're not alone and help them with resources.

"We've made so many changes in these past several years and had a huge 2020," said Pedersen. "That just means we need to continue that momentum, and we need the community to help us with that."

For more on this organization, click here.