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Getting premmie baby off the nasal gastric tube

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Louloublue View Drop Down
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    Posted: 27 September 2013 at 5:07pm
Hi, my sister's baby was born at 29 weeks. He has been on the nasal gastric tube since birth and is now 5 months old 'corrected' - 7 months old in total. He managed to breastfeed a tiny bit for a while, and was on the bottle for the first 5 months, so a combination of NGT, BF and bottle for a while. He is still quite small he is being fed by NGT every 3 hours and refusing a bottle or breastfeeding. He is at the low end weight scale for a non-prem baby, so he isn't tiny. The problem is feeding - my sister is scared he has forgotten how to swallow. He won't even take a wee bit of milk on a spoon. He does suck his hands and toys though. She is terrified that he will not learn to swallow or eat solids for years, and at this stage feels he'll be on the NGT forever! She has had advice from so many different people - nurses, GP, speech therapist, nutritionist but her pediatrician insisted he must stay on the tube for now so his feeding progress has gone backwards. Hence now refusing BF or bottles. He is also spitting up 5x a day, obviously he is getting too full. But her paed is insisting on these tube feeds, so there is not much she can do until his weight goes up more. We hope he will eventually take solids - that's the dream! She is even holding out hope he will BF again.

My sister is at her wit's end. She is booked to begin in a new hospital that has a feeding clinic soon but is still on a wait list. She has little support in Australia as her partner works there, all her family are in NZ. I guess the reason for my post is that I would love to hear of any success stories for weaning premmies off the tube and getting them BF, or onto solids. Any positive stories would really help my sister!

Edited by Louloublue - 27 September 2013 at 5:09pm
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ginger22 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ginger22 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 October 2013 at 3:10pm
I am so sorry but I can not help here...I was super lucky and my boy transitioned before we came home.
I did just want to wish your sister and baby boy all the best!

Does he use a dummy? I know they used that at the start to help my babe learn how to suck and also help his suck get stronger. I would also BFeed him, or hold him on my nipple while he was being NG fed so he associated that with getting full.

All the best.
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Louloublue View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Louloublue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 October 2013 at 4:24pm
Thanks Peppermint87. He was on a dummy in NICU but then he stopped taking it. He is sucking on his hands and toys so that is a good sign! I'm not sure if she tried the BF association. He is on 4 hourly NG feeds a day now. My sister still tries to BF and spoon feed him every day. Hopefully he will start to take a spoon soon. There seems to be very little support out there, unless you are prepared to pay for private help :-(

Edited by Louloublue - 08 October 2013 at 4:25pm
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