Saturday, November 27, 2010

Oral Feedings

Maddy is still primarily being fed through the NG tube these days, although the doctors are now being much more aggressive in their approach to training Maddy to take milk orally. It isn't easy for her, when her entire life she's been fed through a tube, and now all of a sudden at nearly four months old, she's expected to actually start swallowing it herself!! 

For the past few weeks though, Maddy has been getting better and better with her oral feedings. Originally she was being syringe fed and could only take a couple of mLs of milk, then more recently they began to give her a regular bottle with a normal teat on it. She has a cleft palate so they tried the Haberman feeder but she wasn't a big fan. She preferred the regular teat and could manage to get up to 60mL that way on occasion, but her regular feeds are 120mL. 

Many times though, Maddy will start sucking on the bottle and will conk out asleep within five minutes. One of the nurses has a theory that since she has had a dummy (pacifier), she is used to associating sucking with sleeping - and she hasn't ever associated sucking with EATING... so she falls asleep VERY easily when she's meant to be having her milk. 

The other day, the nurses wanted to see if hunger could be a motivation for Maddy to drink more - so before the 9am feed, they took out the NG tube and for the 9am, 1pm and 5pm feeds, they ONLY offered the milk in a bottle, not supplementing with any milk through the NG tube. Overall, this experiment was not particularly successful! Maddy drank 40mL at both the 9am and 1pm feeds, and only 50mL at the 5pm feed (so in total, just a little over a third of what she SHOULD be drinking). They then decided to reinsert the NG tube and possibly try again in the next few days. 

It was really sweet though to go into the hospital and see Maddy's face for the first time without any tubes or stickers or anything like that! I had to take a bunch of photos. Here's a few for you to enjoy :)

I'm learning to insert the NG tube in case Maddy isn't on full oral feeds by the time that the doctors say she can come home. I want to learn that now just so it isn't the one thing keeping her in hospital - and while I know it's not that hard, and I'm confident that I could do it correctly and safely at home, I'd prefer Maddy to do better in her oral feedings so I don't need to bother with all that! We have now purchased a Pigeon cleft palate bottle that may help her to be able to drink more efficiently from a bottle, hopefully that works for her. 

Please keep praying for improvement in Maddy's oral feedings, and also for the multidiscipline meeting on Monday, that the doctors will agree that it's in Maddy's best interests for her to come home now!! 


  1. These are gorgeous photos of a beautiful girl who looks healthy and very ready to come home. May all go smoothly on Monday. Will be thinking of you!

  2. Maddy is sooooo cute!!

  3. She is so beautiful! I hope that the dr's decide on Monday that she is ready to come home, and she starts drinking all her milk!

  4. She is so so cute! Glad she is able to come home soon :)

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  6. So cute!!!
    I loved the pictures!

    Andréia (Guilherme's mother)