As you get used to being home with your child’s feeding tube, this online guide will help you and your family understand how to manage your child’s tube feeding. What is tube feeding? »
Making your child’s home tube feeding a comfortable experience
For most families, tube feeding is a change that needs a certain amount of time and persistence to get used to at home. There are ways to help make this adjustment easier, such as:
- Talk to your child about their new way of eating to help him or her understand what the tube feeding is all about.
- Talk to your friends and family about your child’s tube feeding. You may even want to teach them how to help with caring for your child’s tube feeding.
- Ask your healthcare professional to help you arrange your child’s feeding schedule so he or she can receive the tube feeding formula during family meal times.
- If you want your child to have tube feedings in private or at other times, be sure to help your child take part in other family and social activities.
Talk to your healthcare professional about any questions you have about living with your child’s feeding tube at home including things such as bathing, exercise, playing with others, or travel. Your healthcare professional can also help you to create a feeding plan if your child is attending school.
You can answer this question in many different ways.
You may say something simple like:
- "My child is not able to eat, so this is the way I feed her."
Or if your child is having medical treatments or problems swallowing or digesting food you might say:
- "My child is having trouble swallowing and needs to get her food this way."
- "My child is having medical treatments which make it hard to eat. I use this feeding tube to give her the nutrition she needs."
- "My child’s stomach is not working properly, so she needs this tube to feed herself."
- "My child’s body has a hard time digesting foods. We use this feeding tube and special liquid food to get the nutrition she needs."
"Tube feeding has been a huge learning experience! I constantly think about the nutritional aspect of my daughter's diet, and wonder if she's getting enough or not. Our pediatric nutritionist has been one of my greatest resources… There are a lot of questions when your child is being tube fed. I am in regular contact with her feeding 'team,' and I don't hesitate to pick up the phone and call when I have a question."
—Cathy R., mom of Breeauna, age 6