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To the Mom Whose Child Just Got a Feeding Tube

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To the mom whose child just got a feeding tube,

Right now, you’re probably pretty overwhelmed. You’ve just been thrown into a world you never expected to be a part of, and that can be scary. There are tubes and syringes, feeding schedules and pumps, and possibly a stoma if a G, GJ, or J tube is involved.

I’m not going to tell you it will all be easy. There can be both emotional and practical challenges. But it can get easier.

The first month or so after your child gets their feeding tube can be hard because you’re still getting used to everything. But for me, it soon became second nature, and I got into a rhythm with the feeding process.

In my experience, the person who is sometimes hardest on you throughout your journey is you. Give yourself grace. Process what you and your child are going through when you need to, but then get back up and keep going. If mom-guilt starts to creep up on you, remember this: you are doing what is best for your child.

Try not to worry about all the things that could happen, like granulation tissue or accidental tube pullouts. Take each day as it comes and deal with each issue as it pops up.

Educate yourself. Learn as much as you can about tube feeding and your child’s condition, if you know what it is. You’re a medical mom now, and you’ll manage your new normal much better if you’re prepared and organized.

Don’t be embarrassed by the stares and questions you’ll get from (hopefully) well-meaning friends, relatives, and even strangers. Smile back or use the moment to educate someone who doesn’t know about feeding tubes.

Find your tribe. You are going to need support and understanding from people who are on a similar path as you. You’re going through a unique experience most people aren’t going to be able to understand.

Talk to your friends and family about what you’re going through. Don’t close yourself off from a potentially valuable support system. They may not understand everything, but there’s a good chance they want to support you any way they can.

Take a deep breath. You’ve got this, momma.

Follow this journey on Sunshine and Spoons.

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Originally published: November 26, 2016
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