Why I’m an Ear Tube Advocate

I clearly remember when both of my kids had a fever for the very first time.  My daughter was just shy of eight months old and my son was nine months old.  The reason? Ear infection.

Ear infections and I have a troublesome relationship.   Honestly, both of my kids were healthy their first year of life other than many, many ear infections.  

Can anyone relate to that?  It was so frustrating.

When my daughter was born I was apparently a very naive first time mom.  Somehow I was led to believe that if I breastfed my daughter she would not get ear infections.  Crazy, I know, but I 100% believed it to be true. So, imagine my surprise when I took her to see her pediatrician and she told me my daughter had a double ear infection.  

I breastfed my daughter until she was one year old, and I lost track of how many ear infections she had.

Public Service Announcement: Even if you breastfeed your child they can still get ear infections.

I breastfed my son until he was 11 months old and even though I now knew breastfeeding didn’t prevent ear infections I was still bitter when his first fever hit and his pediatrician told me he had a double ear infection. I thought to myself “Here we go again!”

The thing with my kids and ear infections was that it was never just one infection.  It would start with a double ear infection, and then a couple weeks later when we’d go back for a recheck and the left ear would be clear but the right one would still be infected.  And then a month after that another fever would hit and we’d be back at the pediatrician with another ear infection in the right ear…and so on and so forth.

On top of that, each ear infection meant a new antibiotic.  Would it work? Sure, but only temporarily, meaning it would clear up the infection but the fluid would remain, only to once again become infected a few weeks later.  I remember one time my daughter went through three different antibiotics to clear up her ear infection. Three!

That really bothered me.  I hated having my little ones on so much medicine at such a young age, but I also knew that without the medicine they would be in great pain.

After my daughter’s sixth ear infection in five months her pediatrician suggested ear tubes.  

The thought of her having ear tube surgery did not sit well with me. Honestly, I was really against it at first. Maybe it was because I was still upset about my ill-informed notion that we wouldn’t have ear issues if I breast-fed.

But that surgery was a game changer for her.

She had tubes put in when she was 16 months old, and they fell out on their own when she was three years old.  She never had another ear infection after the surgery and hasn’t had any ear problems since. She will turn six in May.  

Because of the success our daughter had with ear tubes we didn’t hesitate with our son when he started  down the same ear infection road.  We got the referral from our pediatrician, and two weeks later we scheduled the surgery. His surgery was in January of 2019, shortly after he turned one. So far, it’s been the same story as his sister–no more ear infections. The ear tubes allow the fluid in their ears to drain rather than pool up and become infected.  Because the fluid was able to drain, the infections stopped.

Looking back I realize now just how much unnecessary stress I was creating for myself over nothing. And now, I am an advocate for ear tubes.

I want to encourage anyone out there experiencing numerous ear infections with your children to truly consider them.   Yes, of course the idea of your child having any sort of surgery is scary.  But when it’s something that can give your child relief and comfort it’s worth looking into.

Before deciding if it’s the right choice for you, ask questions.  Lots of them. With our daughter I asked all sort of things to our pediatrician and to the doctor doing the surgery during our consultation.  Some sample questions:

  • Are there many risks?  What are they?
  • What exactly will the tubes do? 
  • How long is the recovery time?

Each question I asked was answered in a way that only helped ease my anxiety and hesitation.

Why I am an ADvocate for Ear Tubes

Look at that smile. Ear tubes, in our case, are 100% worth it.

* Disclaimer- this is the opinion of one mom after consultation with her doctor.  This post does not and should not replace advice from a qualified medical specialist.  If you think ear tubes might be helpful for your family, please speak to a licensed medical professional! 

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Ashley is a ‘small town’ girl who moved to the ‘big city’ of Cedar Rapids after high school. A graduate of Coe College, Ashley is currently a kindergarten teacher and a true lover of yoga pants, cozy sweatshirts, chai tea lattes and cookie dough. Ashley and her husband, Mitch, first met each other back in middle school, dated when they were freshmen in high school, then reconnected one final time via Facebook back in 2006 shortly after Mitch returned from his first deployment. They've stood by their vows of ‘for better or worse,’ and as they approach their 10 year wedding anniversary, they aren’t afraid to admit that marriage isn’t easy. They welcomed their first child, Stella Grace Bass, in May of 2013 and their second child, Archer Mitchell Bass, in December of 2017!