Day to day life with a NG feeding tube

It’s been roughly 8 weeks since Olivia had her NG tube and we’ve received her operation date for a Gtube, things are moving quickly thankfully. As soon as she gets her Gtube we can finally begin hydrotherapy! We’ve got less chance of vomiting and it will be even easier to feed Olivia.

Anyway back to NG feeding….

Once the tube is inserted it should usually stay down, baby sisters and having a cold have made sure that’s not the case a couple of times however it’s pretty simple to re-insert (I wouldn’t recommend obviously, as it can easily be inserted into the lungs call a professional unless you’ve been trained yourself) it isn’t a pleasant experience. Once it’s down, however, it’s extremely simple to care for checking her ph level of her stomach and then pushing her food down slowly & flushing with water after each feed. Washing the connectors with warm soapy water should keep it usable for 6 week period and then it will need to be replaced.

The stress of feeding is long gone and Olivia is finally content with a full belly. There is no more vomiting, coughing, heaving or gagging, resultno more worrying about aspirating when drinking. Our household is a lot more peaceful during eating times. During the day Olivia swallows quite a lot of air & constantly acts as if she’s eating something resultsin wind a lot of wind! Other than that the decision for a ng tube really has been the best, I can’t imagine it’s pleasant having a tube in your throat or tape stuck to your face however these are small cons compared to the pros.

As a guideline children aged between 1-3 should drink between 1000-1300mls water daily & consume approx 1000-1400 calories a day. Obviously activity level is taken into account and even though we haven’t been given a guideline ourselves for Olivia I try to get her as close as possible to the above amount. Olivia currently has 800-1000ml of water and approx 1600 calories which is more than recommended however we’re trying to gain weight.

When we went to hospital to discuss feeding options I was always adamant that I wanted Olivia to eat “real” food and not have substitute formula, after reading quite a few blogs It’s clear that the “Blenderized diet” as it’s known is a huge success. We were given neocate formula to give in between meals which can be used as a sole source of nutrition but we incorporated it aswel as food. This ensures Olivia gets a mixture of essential and non-essential amino acids, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals and trace elements everything she needs for a healthy balanced diet.

When it comes to feeding Olivia I will either mix neocate with water or mix food I have made with water (depending on thickness) and slowly push it through a syringe into her tube.

Supplies are sent from a separate company and we receive enough for approx 4 weeks. Including neocate formula before this we had to use prescriptions however due to the cost (£80 per box) we would be given one box which last 5 days & then we’d have to renew our prescription & the process of being messed about would leave us without any for weeks. Now we receive 6 boxes at a time. Which of course is easier to plan ahead.