This is my first post in a hopefully ongoing series that will publish on Sundays. I’m calling it “Special Needs Sunday” and will include posts with helpful information and reviews about experiences we’ve had with Jenna and products we’ve used. Today starts the series with a review of our feeding pump.
We came home from the hospital with a Kangaroo pump mounted on an IV pole. It was relatively large and cumbersome, but we didn’t think that much about it because we thought it would only be a brief time that she would require it, and it worked fine for an infant, but was cumbersome for travel of any sort. As she got older and we learned that it would be necessary to continue feeding her by g-tube, we started fretting bit about how an active toddler would be able to move around and develop motor skills while attached to an IV pole. My wonderful mom emailed me with a link for a company called Zevex that manufactures a super-small and super-light enteral feeding pump called the EnteraLite Infinity.
It’s dimensions are 1.95” H x 5.65” W x 4.05” D and it weighs just over 14.4 oz. A super-mini backpack is available, which means that no more IV pole is necessary. Jenna can wear the pump in her backpack and feed on-the-go. The pump operates in any position, which means if Jenna does a somersault or hangs upside down from the couch, the pump keeps going. Another liberating feature is its 24-hour battery. We still mount the pump to the IV pole for her overnight feeding and plug the pump in for recharging at that point. It works perfectly. It’s very simple to program and easy to understand. The programming key pad consists of nine simple buttons.
We initially went through a medical supply company to rent the pump, because this was the only way our insurance would cover the cost. Two years later, we officially have rented long enough to own it. Insanely (we’ve found that insanity reigns when it comes to insurance issues) the insurance company paid enough to purchase three pumps in the time we were renting-to-own. They apparently have no problem with that. Sigh. But I digress. We have had minor service issues that were always dealt with promptly and professionally by either the medical supply company or Zevex directly. I have emailed questions to a Zevex customer service rep who has always responded immediately.
This pump has made it remarkably easy and discreet for us to travel anywhere with Jenna while feeding her. We’ve been to zoos, restaurants, parks, playdates, etc., and have gone on walks, out visiting – - you name it! Whatever “normal” families and kids do, we are now free to do too. It has also made car and plane travel a breeze, and most people don’t even know that she’s being fed through a tube. We’ve had strangers comment that her backpack is “so cute” without seeming to realize it’s purpose. As she gets bigger, there are 2 additional sizes that will fit her accurately.
My recommendation to other parents would be: Don’t even mess around with anything else. This pump is incredible and makes life so much easier for you and your little one. If they try to tell you that the Kangaroo Joey pump is “the same,” it’s not. It’s significantly larger and heavier and requires a larger backpack. I’ve seen and held them, and they don’t even compare to the light and compact Infinity. Enteral feeding is complicated enough without adding in struggles with the pump or further lifestyle restrictions. Feel free to contact me via comments or email if you have further questions.