Feeding Tube Education

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What is a feeding tube?

A feeding tube is a thin, flexible tube that goes through the skin and muscle into the stomach. Liquids go through the tube directly into your child’s stomach or intestine.

There are different kinds of feeding tubes (see Pictures 1-7 below). Your child’s doctor has chosen the one that best meets your child’s needs at this time.  As your child’s needs change, the doctor may recommend a different type of feeding tube.

Gastronomy feeding tube inside the stomach

Feeding Tubes

Gastrojejunostomy feeding tube inside the stomach and intestine

Two piece gastrojejunostomy (GJ) feeding tube

Why does my child need a feeding tube?

Your child’s doctor will tell you the reasons your child needs a feeding tube and how long he or she may need to feed through the tube. The feeding tube will not affect your child’s ability to eat or drink.

The feeding tube can be used for the following reasons:

  • To give your child liquid food for nutrition
  • To give your child water for hydration
  • To give your child medicines
  • To remove excess air and fluid from your child’s stomach (this is called venting)

Helpful information regarding feeding tubes:

View and print the Feeding Tube Workbook (PDF)