Monday, February 11, 2013
Feeding Tube Awareness Week 2013.. Part 1
A feeding tube comes in quiet the variety and serve a large purpose.
Most preemies have a feeding for a period of time, sometimes longer then others. When born before 32 weeks, preemies lack the ability to suck, swallow and breath. It's usually not until between week 32 & 34 that a NICU would attempt bottle or breast feedings. Until then they supply nutrition via IV's and a feeding tube.
Some preemies have to come home on a feeding tube (like Addison) for various reasons. Addison had her's because of her Cleft Palate, severe reflux and the fact that she never learned to take a bottle because of both of those two things. Additionally our hospital will not do a Nissin (the procedure where they create a knot to help prevent reflux) without a G-tube.
Feeding tubes can be a long term life style change or a short term change. It depends on so many elements. Chances are you may know someone that has or has had a feeding tube. The best thing you can do is educate yourself about it. Ask questions (politely) to the parent of a tube fed child, DO NOT STARE, and please do not ask "WHAT'S WRONG WITH HER?" there is nothing "wrong", she just eats differently. And don't ask "When will he or she have that "thing" removed?" That "thing" will be there for as long as he/she needs it. I made up my mind early on that if it took forever and a day, that was ok too. Some people have no clue how long their child will need a feeding tube, actually most parents probably have know just how long it will take because each child is different.
You can also check out websites such as www.feedingtubeawareness.org and check them out on Facebook to learn more about feeding tubes and if you are a tubie or parent of a tubie - you can connect with others who are in your shoes. Flip through the blog posts labeled "Feeding Tube" to learn more about Addison's story.
Most of all, no matter what, be supportive. We are all thankful for the support we had and still have when it came to Addison (and Blake). Feeding Tube Awareness will always have a special place in my heart, and I will always acknowledge where Addison started at.
And lastly watch this video... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jBX05Gs-RQ , from our friends at Feeding Tube Awareness on Facebook.
Check back all week long to read more blog post about our experience with a feeding tube!