Can and will Ivy eat by mouth?

This is another question I get a lot that doesn’t have a super simple answer. Technically, Ivy can eat/drink by mouth. According to the one swallow study we got when she was 3 months old, she needs liquids to be thickened in order to drink them safely. Her swallowing muscles have always been very disorganized, and with little practice eating and drinking by mouth, I imagine it will take some hard work to get those things figured out.

The biggest battle we are fighting right now is her aversion to any kind of food or drink touching her mouth. We can’t even tell what she’s able to safely eat or drink right now because we can’t get her to try anything. She will put toys in her mouth which is a good first step.

We are lucky enough to live nearby an intensive feeding therapy clinic. If all goes as planned, Ivy will attend the clinic this summer. We will be there from 8:00 in the morning until 4:00 in the evening with multiple feeding therapy sessions each day. They also plan to do another swallow study to make sure that she is able to eat and drink safely. I was told to plan to be there for 8 weeks. It will no doubt be intense, but I’m excited to have the support we need to work towards Ivy eating and drinking by mouth! Until then I’m so thankful for her tube! 

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