BY ANN FREY, RDN
We at Capernaum are so excited to provide you with an update on our Tube Optimization Program. The program has been up and running now for the past seven months, and we have had the pleasure of serving a total of seven amazing families who have participated in the program!
Each eligible child who participates in Capernaum’s Tube Optimization Program is provided with an individualized weaning plan to best meet their nutrition needs in the transition from tube to oral feeding. Out of the seven patients we have served here at Capernaum, the average pace of weaning has been a 10% decrease in tube feeds every 1-7 days. We have seen great success weaning from formula and/or fluids with complete tube weaning completed in an average of 1-3 months.
When it comes to weaning a child from their feeding tube, many parents and providers are concerned with the risk of weight loss that potentially could occur during the weaning phase. For many months or even years, families with children on a feeding tube work very hard to ensure their child is getting the exact number of milliliters per day to get the exact number of calories to meet their nutrition goals. Our program encourages a shift in mindset for families, as they go from counting milliliters and calories to letting their child’s natural eating instinct take charge. It can be scary for many; however, based on our participants, the average weight loss from the start of the weaning phase to the completion of the program has been a -0.46-pound weight loss (an average of 4% weight loss from the child’s baseline). We have had two kiddos actually gain weight with their wean!
It has been an incredible journey to see the transformation of each child as we decrease their tube feeds. We have had the wonderful privilege to witness the children’s love for food and eating come alive as they develop increases in hunger and thirst cues and experience joy with meal and snack times!
The Tube Optimization Program is accepting new patients at this time. Please contact the main office for more information and details at (952) 285-2840.