The Feeding Tube

The feeding tube is usually a scary idea that many parents resist and fight like the plague.

You may be different, or perhaps you have come to the realization that a tube is the best decision for your child. Most of you reading this though, are probably weighing your options, hoping against hope to find one last thing to do before having your child get enteral nutrition.

So let’s take a deep breath. If you haven’t already tried high calorie foods and calorie boosters, now is the time to do it. If your child is not tolerating his formula, or will not drink enough you can try changing it, and if your child over 1 year old is not gaining weight well you should try a high calorie supplement since most kids have an easier time drinking calories rather than eating them.

If you’ve tried all these things and your child still has failure to thrive and is falling lower and lower on the growth chart, the feeding tube may be the best decision.

tube feeding http://www.flickr.com/photos/gurms/2112171163/

I understand this is difficult, and it may actually be one of the hardest decisions you’ve ever had to make, so let’s take it one step at a time here, and research your options. To help you decide if your child needs an alternative form of nutrition such as a G-tube feeding, I have interviewed many parents on their tips, advice, and what they wish they knew regarding the feeding tube and their child. I encourage you to read all of these articles carefully, as the parents had amazing stories and great advice.

Once you get to the technical part you may want to start out with objective tube feeding criteriato see where your child fits. You may also want to check out the tube feeding schedulesand begin thinking about what would work best for your child and your family, while making a list of questions to ask your gastroenterologist.After this you should check out the most commonly asked tube feeding questions., then move onto types of tubes such as a PEG feeding tube and information on the NG tube.Finally it is good to look at manipulating tube feedsand finally get to the part where you begin to wean your child's tube feeding.In the end, you know what is best for your child. Do the research, speak to the professionals and do what your gut tells you is best. And remember, NG, J or G-tube feeding is not the worst thing that would ever happen to your child. If they need it to gain weight and thrive, it can be a helpful and necessary part of life.

If you are a parent of a tube fed child, submit your tubey stories here.    Share your experiences with other parents.