What is tube dependency?

Nowadays there more and more children being fed artificially by tube. Infants and young children in particular are affected by tube dependency. Of course, there are medical conditions that makes artificial nutrition indispensable to life saving. However, most children overcome the medical condition and remain dependent due to permanent food refusal.

Consequently, we define tube dependency as an eating disorder in which tube feeding is remained with an adequate physical and oral motor function. We were able to show this in the following study, with over 100 children:

Our study results

1. The refusal to eat doesnt overcome it, but occurs in infants just as it does in three-year-olds.

2. Vomiting is a common complication from tube feeding. We also show that vomiting no longer occurs after therapy for tube dependency.

3. Die Sonde bleibt bei Sondendependenz über Jahre ein ständiger Begleiter, denn den Kreislauf aus Verweigerung und Sondengabe zu unterbrechen klingt leichter als es in der Realität ist.


Checklist for parents

  • Has your child had a tube for several weeks?
  • Does your child show no signs of hunger or thirst?
  • Are you trying to feed your child and is not interested?
  • Does your child become tense when you offer him the breast, bottle or papa?
  • Does your child vomit often?

We are here to help you

If we can support you and your child with the tube weaning, we will be more than happy to be there for you.


Photo by The Honest Company on Unsplash

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