Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Feeding Pumps

For any of us who have a child that uses a feeding pump, these can be both a lifesaver and the bane of our existence (well - next to the G-tube).

Intimidating when they first arrive on your doorstep, without the aid of hospital staff you soon learn all the tricks. You know the ones.... holding that prime down just right so that the food doesn't leak out all over, positioning the pump and the bag just right so they don't alarm, which buttons to push when the alarm sounds. You learn to do all of these things in your sleep, in the dark, in the car, and on the new living room furniture. You learn just how long that battery really lasts at which mL per hour setting, and how to reach behind you, in the car, and fix the pump while doing 70+ MPH in rush hour traffic in Chicago....Ahem.

You also learn - quickly - how annoying those ugly black bags are that come with your pump. We have found a more stylish, lighter, and more convenient way to tote around out feeding pump. We are currently using a Joey, but this idea could be used for the Zevex Infinity or EnteraLite pumps as well. You would just have to use a little different style bag.

The best place to find this bag is Wal-mart right now, during back to school shopping. We are talking about lunch box/bags. They only need a little modification, and work wonderfully. This is a picture of our bag from last year. They run about $7.

The brand name that we have here is Arctic Zone. I was just at Wal-mart, and they have lots of different ones this year. Many with characters, and lots of neat designs.

For Joey pumps, the design you want is a tall bag with the "sack" part on the top half. On the bottom is a flip down panel that holds a plastic container. You want the one that is taller than a sandwich container. The others are too flat. If you have a Zevex EnteraLite or Infinity pump, you will want one that looks like an old school lunchbox, but with two compartments, like this.

In the top "sack" part of the bag, you will need to cut a hole for access into the bottom compartment. This is where the feeding bag will go. I just cut a hole, but if you are crafty, you could put in a large grommet, snaps, or Velcro. You may also want to add a hook or Velcro towards the top of the inside of the bag or on the inside of the lid to keep your feeding bag upright. We don't seem to have a problem with our bag just laying in there, but some pumps are A LOT more sensitive to this than others. The nice thing about this is even with a full feeding bag, we still have room to put in an ice pack and/or 16 oz sport bottle of extra formula, as long as it is kind-of short.

(I am not sure why this picture keeps loading sideways. It is really a picture from the front of the bag looking down into it.)

You should be able to string your tubing through the hole that you previously cut, down to the pump. The Joey pump is a perfect fit in the bottom section of the bag. It will even fit while plugged in to the charger. This is nice because the flap on this section of the bag covers the pump and the BRIGHT light that it puts out. You can still hear the alarms. The entire flap over the pump compartment is Velcro, so there are no issues with the tubing coming out to hook up to your little one.

The other nice thing about this particular bag is that the handle unclasps. We can hang it on the back of his wheelchair or stroller, or the back of the seats in the van (they have a built in handle). It even helps in a hotel room. We can usually hang it from a lamp or the corner of the headboard if we forget our IV pole. It also makes it easier to transfer Lil Man from the van into his wheelchair or stroller without having to unhook and hook everything back up again. Here is a picture of the clip.

This is for those of you who have the Zevex Infinity or EnteraLite pumps: We used to have to carry around so much stuff....feeding pump bag, O2, Pulse Ox machine, and all of the medical and baby paraphernalia. We looked like pack mules going anywhere. Right before we switched pumps, I realized that those Zevex pumps fit great inside the front pouch of a large backpack. More like a high-schooler would use. Land's End backpacks are nice.

Our requirements were a large main compartment, or two, and the front pencil pouch WITH A KEY CLIP. You hang your bag from the key clip and the pump is skinny enough to fit in the bottom of the compartment. This eliminates the need for all of those extra bags. It is also nice if that pencil pouch in front has an opening for earphones - preferably on the left side if you are looking at the pack. You can keep the pouch closed and string your feeding tubing through the hole meant for the earphone for an MP3 player. The one linked up above from Land's End is REALLY nice. The front pencil pouch is insulated - like a lunch box. Even better!

This one from Wal mart is nice too. Comes in several colors and only $15. You can click on the screenshots to see a pic of the pouch. You should be able to hook your feeding bag to the key clip and the pump would fit down in the bottom of the same pouch.

Well, I hope I passed on some useful info in time for back to school shopping. If you try out this idea, do me a favor and send a picture or a link back to me. I like seeing other's ideas. I KNOW there are some of you out there who are way more crafty than I.



P.S. The new Lillian Vernon catalog has quite a few backpacks and lunchboxes that will work for this. You can personalize all of their stuff, and they have cool patterns like camo, racecars, pink plaid, purple polka-dots, and pink with zebra! They have "normal" colors too. :)



Blogger Mighty Mito Mom said...

This is a GREAT post! Thanks so much for sharing all of this!

July 22, 2013 at 9:06 PM  

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