In some cases, it may take several weeks or longer for your child’s intestine to recover enough so that they can eat by mouth. Until that time, your child will get nutrition through a special IV called a peripherally inserted central catheter, or PICC line, through a feeding tube or through both. The surgery team will be able to give you an idea of how long your child will have these devices and what to expect with feeding.
If placing a feeding tube, the surgeon makes an opening through the wall of your child’s belly. Then, the surgeon gently puts in a G tube or a device called a gastrostomy button. Both provide safe ways to give nutrition and medicine until your child can eat by mouth. You will be taught how to take care of the tube or button and how to feed your child through it.
Many babies do not need feeding tubes for very long, if at all. Instead of a G tube, these babies may have a temporary feeding tube placed through the nose into the stomach (NG tube). An NG tube is very small, soft and flexible, and babies tolerate it well.
With a G tube or NG tube, your baby can still eat by mouth if they are able and receive breast milk or formula through the feeding tube as needed.