You don't have to rush into this decision. Did you read my website about NG tubes vs G tube? I'll cut/paste it here for you. An NG tube is a good way to get calories into her while you decide. But it has mixed blessings. I was very against any feeding tubes at first but my dd was losing 4 oz a day in the hospital right before my eyes, even on an IV. Her problem was not wanting to eat at all. After the tube was put in she ate, but then it was really, really hard to cope with the NG. Some families I've heard of have it for a long time with no problems. Others have problems with it after their baby gets old enough to try to pull it out.
A lot of this has to do with reflux kids, so you can ignore those parts.
The Mixed Blessings of an NG tube
If your baby is losing weight and not eating, it will most likely be given an NG tube to help gain weight again while they figure out the best treatment options. The NG tube saved my daughter's life. However it was a mixed blessing. NG tubes are supposed to be temporary. They are not meant to be used for weeks or months and here's why:
* The baby can feel the NG tube going down the back of the throat. The baby may not want to swallow with the NG in place. It can therefore, make the baby even more reistant to eating by mouth.
* The NG tube can make reflux worse. There is a valve on the top of the stomach that will close to prevent food from coming back up. This valve is already weak in a refluxer. When the NG tube is in place, the valve can no longer close fully and food will come back up.
* The NG tube can cause sensory issues to become worse. Think about it. Tape all over your cheek, a tube down your nose that you can feel at the back of your throat.
* A baby can become dependant on an NG tube and not want to eat by mouth. Tube-feeding is much easier, especially for a baby who doesn't want to eat in the first place.
The Benefits of a G-Tube
Asking for a g-tube was the best thing I have ever done for my daughter. I never thought I'd say that when I was pregnant with her! No parent ever wants their child to have a stomach tube. If your child is going to be on an NG tube for more than a few weeks, I would recommend you start to do your research and consider a g-tube. Here's why:
* A gtube does not cause sensory issues. You can work on getting your child to eat again, but still feed them the nutrition they need through their tube.
* A gtube is hidden under clothing and people will not stare, as they would with an NG tube.
* A gtube takes the pressure off the parents. It was my sanity saver! It made me stop worrying about my child's growth and feeding her. I was finally able to enjoy her as my baby and heal those bonds that had been broken through my struggles to feed her and her struggles to fight me. She can keep it as long as she needs it.
* A gtube can help you manage reflux better.
It is important to note that in some children reflux will become temporarily worse after the gtube placement, until the stomach heals and adjusts to contracting around the tube. In most kids it will resolve itself within a few months. Many surgeons will want to do the fundo in order to prevent this temporary worsening of reflux. It is my opinion that it's worth it to wait it out and see. Nitara's vomiting is almost gone now. I'm glad we waited.