An ostomy is an opening made in the abdomen. The intestine is brought outside the body and attached to the abdominal skin. The baby's bowel movements come through this opening. The opening itself is called a stoma.
With an ostomy, the baby will no longer have bowel movements from his/her rectum. An ostomy may be either permanent or temporary.
The type of ostomy the infant has may be a colostomy which involves the large intestine, or an ileostomy, which involves the small intestine.
The part of the intestine brought to the outside of the skin is called a stoma. The stoma is shiny, red, and wet. The stoma does not contain any nerves so it is not painful to the infant. There may be a small amount of bleeding evident if the stoma is rubbed or irritated.
The infant will have many small bowel movements a day through the stoma. A bag is placed over the stoma to prevent stool from soiling the infant's skin or clothes. The bag should be changed when it leaks, is beginning to come off or full of stool. Your infant's nurse will teach you how to care for the ostomy.