The medical staff taking care of your baby will teach you how to take care of your baby’s stoma. There are some differences between an adult stoma and that of a child’s.
The position of the stoma
Your doctor will want to spare as much of your baby’s skin and tissues as possible. This means that the stoma may be positioned in a different place to where it would be in an adult. For example, if a urostomy is performed in a baby, the stoma will be created as close to the kidneys as possible so that the baby’s intestines do not need to be diverted. This could mean the stoma is formed on the baby’s side. In adults, the urostomy involves diverting the urine via the ileum (in the small intestine) through the abdomen (front of the body). Our Understanding Stomas page provides information about the different types of stoma.
Eventually if the stoma is no longer needed and your child undergoes an operation to reverse the stoma, it means that as little scarring and change to your baby’s internal organs as possible has been made.
Your baby’s skin
Your baby’s skin is very delicate – it will need a lot of care and attention to make sure that it is not damaged by adhesive trauma, rubbing or contact with bodily fluids, and to protect against infections. The skin around the stoma should be cleaned with plain water. Baby wipes, oils, powders and lotions should be avoided near the stoma as they can prevent the pouch from sticking properly, which could result in leaks and damage to your baby’s skin.
There are several products available that will stop your baby’s skin from tearing or being damaged when you are changing the pouch. These products are completely inert so will not cause irritation. More information about skin care products.
Your baby will probably move around all the time and can produce more faeces and urine than an adult (in relative height and weight terms). This means that your baby needs a very flexible pouch system as it need to be changed/emptied frequently but will need to stay firmly in place while it is on. Your pouch choice may change as the baby starts crawling and moving more often – but rest assured that the pouch will not affect the baby’s movement. Our careline team can talk you through the different products of all brands which might suit your child and their changing needs. Give them a call on 0800 585 125 (if you are a new customer) or 0800 318 965 if you already use our home delivery service and would like some advice.