Caring for a Baby or Child with a Stoma

Caring for a Baby or Child with a Stoma
An ostomy is created when an infant or child requires surgery to create a small opening on the surface of the stomach to divert part of the intestine or colon outside the body to eliminate waste. Ostomies are temporary inconveniences for most babies who require the surgery. Some children need repair due to congenital anomalies like Spina Bifida; obstructions or atresia; or to remove areas of the bowl damaged by disease; or as an emergency response to a missing anus. Stomas are much more common in infants and children than most parents expect. Premature babies are more vulnerable to developing Necrotizing Enterocolitis. and Hirschsprung’s disease is more common in newborns with Down syndrome.

Young children who require this type of surgery in their youngest months or years may grow up with ostomy care as part of their daily routine. Very rarely do parents or other adults in the family have prior experience with an ostomy, and I recommend watching one of the many YouTube or advocacy group videos recorded by confident teens or young adults who demonstrate changing their own ostomy bags.

While it is always recommended that parents be trained in the hospital or doctor's office on best practices for infants and toddlers, by nurses and other medical professionals, it is both comforting and encouraging to listen to typical young adults explain the procedure. Practical advice, humor and compassion is offered by individuals who understand the everyday problems that might be encountered by the child growing up in your family.

There are many sources online for information and support, often provided by medical professionals, for individuals who share up-to-date and reliable product reviews and advice when their or their child's ostomies were new.

Ostomy Pouching for Infants - UCSFMedicalCenter

Caring for Your Child's Stoma - UCSFMedicalCenter

How to Change Your Ileostomy: 1 year later, 2 piece bag

There are resources around the world, in many languages. English speaking parents may also find translations of helpful international sites like the Dutch site, Stomaatje.

Children and babies with a stoma -

You Should Also Read:
Babies with Hydrocephalus
Babies Born Early - Prematurity and Childbirth

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