Feeding - gastrostomy tube; G-tube; Gastrostomy button; Bard Button; MIC-KEY
Your child' s gastrostomy tube or “G-tube” is a special tube in your child' s stomach that will help deliver food and medicines until your child can chew and swallow. Sometimes, it is replaced by a button, called a Bard Button orMIC-KEY, 3 to 8 weeks after surgery.
These feedings will help your child grow strong and healthy. Many parents have done this with good results.
You will quickly get used to feeding your child through the tube, or button. It will take about the same time as a regular feeding, around 20 to 30 minutes. There are two ways to feed through the system: the syringe method and the gravity method. Each method is described below. Make sure you follow all of the nurse' s instructions as well.
Your doctor will tell you the right mix of formula or blended feedings to use, and how often to feed your child. Have this food ready at room temperature before you start, by taking it out of the refrigerator for about 30 to 40 minutes. Do not add more formula or solid foods before you talk to your child' s nurse.
All of the equipment can be cleaned with hot, soapy water and hung to dry. You can try using seltzer to clean the tube if there is dried up formula inside it. You will also clean your child' s skin around the tube 1 to 3 times a day with mild soap and water, and dry. The skin should heal in 2 to 3 weeks.
Remember to wash your hands regularly to prevent the spread of germs. Take good care of yourself as well, so that you can stay calm and positive, and cope with stress.
Make sure your child is sitting up either in your arms or in a high chair.
If your child fusses or cries while feeding, pinch the tube with your fingers to stop the feeding until your child is more calm and quiet.
Feeding time is a social, happy time. Make it pleasant and fun. Your child will enjoy gentle talk and play.
Try to keep your child from pulling on the tube.
Since your child isn' t using their mouth yet, your doctor will discuss with you other ways to allow your child to suck and develop mouth and jaw muscles.
Your nurse will show you the best way to use your system without getting air into the tubes. Follow these steps to feed your child:
If you are using a G-button system, you will attach the feeding tube to the feeding system first, then fill it with formula/food. Clamp the tube, then open the flap of the G-button or MIC-KEY and attach the feeding tube to the button. Release the clamp when you are ready to feed.
Your nurse will teach you the best way to use your system without getting air into the tubes. Follow these steps to feed your child:
If your child' s belly becomes hard or swollen after a feeding, try venting, or “burping,” the tube or button:
Sometimes you may need to give medicines to your child through the tube. Follow these guidelines:
Call your child' s nurse or doctor if your child:
Also call the doctor if:
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