Swallowing services

Pediatric swallowing services

Is mealtime a struggle for you and your baby? Hearing and Speech staff working with the IWK Feeding Clinic sees infants, children and youth across the Maritimes who have difficulty with swallowing.


Has your baby had trouble with any of the following?

  • Behavioural challenges, like refusing certain foods
  • Difficulty bottle feeding
  • Moving on to chewable foods
  • Increasing the variety of food in the diet
  • Moving on from tube feeding to oral feeding

If you’ve noticed any of the above, ask your doctor to refer you to the IWK Feeding Clinic by fax at 902-470-8736.

During an appointment with the Feeding Clinic, you might be asked to feed your child during an X-ray or in the clinic to help the specialists make the right recommendations.


Adult swallowing services

Safe eating and swallowing are essential for maintaining nutrition and good health. As we age or experience medical issues, we may notice changes in our chewing and swallowing abilities. Adults with swallowing problems can be referred to HSNS or the swallowing clinic in Halifax for assessment, treatment and management.


How swallowing services can help

You will meet with a speech-language pathologist and a registered dietitian at your appointment. They’ll ask you questions about what you eat, test the muscles in your mouth and throat, watch you swallow, then complete the right test for your symptoms.

Based on your swallowing problems and information provided by your doctor, you may have one of two swallowing tests.  You may have a special x-ray examination called a Modified Barium Swallow (MBS) study or your swallowing may be tested using a small scope.  This test is called a Fiberoptic Endoscopic Examination of Swallowing (FEES).


Make an appointment for swallowing concerns

To make an appointment, you’ll need a referral from a doctor. The types of problems referred include trouble chewing or swallowing food, choking episodes, coughing while eating or drinking, recurrent chest infections or pneumonias and unusual weight loss.