What Is Gerd In Babies
If your baby fight bread feeding, is always stiff and arch her back regularly, is uneasy when laying on her back or even if her breath smell sour, then the little one may be experiencing baby reflux.
Acid reflux is medically called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD. A baby with acid reflux is referred to as Scrawny Screamers. GERD may cause your baby to drink less milk, thus becoming Scrawny or underweight.
However, GERD may also make your baby overeat because they think swallowing and milk will help them keep their acid at bay.
Although GERD is common among the adults, it is surprisingly pretty much the same in infants and toddlers too.
So How Do I Know If My Baby Has Acid Reflux Because Most Babies Spit!
A straightforward way to find this out is to see how your baby reacts after vomiting. If your baby appears happy and doesnt seem to be in any discomfort or pain, then she is just a happy spitter.
However, here are some essential list symptoms you should look out for
- Crying after drinking and eating
- Extreme fussiness after feeding
What Can I Do To Manage Or Prevent Silent Reflux
There are several steps you can take to help reduce reflux in your child.
The first includes modifying your diet if youre breastfeeding. This can help reduce your childs exposure to certain foods they may be allergic to.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends removing eggs and milk from your diet for two to four weeks to see if reflux symptoms improve.
You might also consider removing acidic foods, like citrus fruits and tomatoes.
Other tips include:
- If your child is drinking formula, switch to a hydrolyzed protein or amino-acid based formula.
- If possible, keep your baby upright for 30 minutes after feeding.
- Burp your baby several times during a feeding.
- If youre bottle feeding, hold the bottle at an angle that allows the nipple to stay full of milk. This will help your baby to gulp less air. Swallowing air can increase intestinal pressure and lead to reflux.
- Try different nipples to see which one gives your baby the best seal around their mouth.
- Give your baby a smaller volume of food, but more frequently. For example, if youre feeding your baby 4 ounces of formula or breast milk every four hours, trying offering 2 ounces every two hours.
Avoid Secondhand Smoke Exposure
Lifestyle changes can help reduce reflux, and an important strategy in this regard is to avoid exposing your infant to secondhand smoke. In fact, infants or children of any age should completely avoid exposure to tobacco smoke.
Tobacco smoke can relax the lower esophageal sphincter and increase the tendency for reflux to occur.
A study published in the Journal of the Oklahoma State Medical Association found that environmental tobacco smoke represents a significant contributing factor to GER.
The study even stressed that pediatricians should systematically ask questions about the infant environment and recommend that children should remain in a smoke-free environment.
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When To See A Doctor
As long as your baby is healthy and growing normally, reflux should not be a cause for concern. It is different to vomiting because reflux or spilling is effortless, while vomiting is forceful. Read more about vomiting in children.
Contact your family doctor if your baby:
- brings up a large amount of milk after most feeds
- spits up forcefully
- spits up green or yellow fluid
- is fussy and unhappy between feeds
- arches their back or seems to be in pain after most feeds
- is not gaining much or any weight
- has breathing problems
- starts vomiting at age 6 months or older.
Is Baby Reflux Just Vomiting
Baby reflux is effectively the same thing as posseting, which is when babies bring up a small amount of milk without seeming to mind . Reflux is common in babies under six months for completely normal physiological reasons and doesnt need medication. Baby reflux is also different from gastro-oesophageal reflux disease , which is when reflux symptoms become troublesome or cause complications .
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What Treatments Might The Doctor Give For My Infant’s Gerd
If feeding changes do not help enough, the doctor may recommend medicines to treat GERD. The medicines work by lowering the amount of acid in your baby’s stomach. The doctor will only suggest medicine if your baby still has regular GERD symptoms and:
- You already tried some feeding changes
- Your baby has problems sleeping or feeding
- Your baby does not grow properly
The doctor will often prescribe a medicine on a trial basis and will explain any possible complications. You shouldn’t give your baby any medicines unless the doctor tells you to.
Medicines for GERD in babies include:
- H2 blockers, which decrease acid production
- Proton pump inhibitors , which lower the amount of acid the stomach makes
If these don’t help and your baby still has severe symptoms, then surgery might be an option. Pediatric gastroenterologists only use surgery to treat GERD in babies in rare cases. They may suggest surgery when babies have severe breathing problems or have a physical problem that causes GERD symptoms.
Do Not Elevate The Head While Sleeping
Do not elevate your baby’s head when asleep to treat reflux. This is sometimes called positional management.
Positional management is elevating the head of their cot or using pillows under the baby’s mattress, sleep positioners and baby pillows.
Place your baby on their back to sleep. Follow advice on safe sleep to reduce the risk of cot death.
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How To Prevent Your Baby From Getting Acid Reflux
There are two main ways you can prevent acid reflux in your baby before it even starts.
You dont necessarily have to hold the baby for a full 30 minutes you can put them in a swing, car seat, or propped up bassinet. Mainly, you just want the head to be upright relative to the body.
What Tips Can I Try To Help My Baby’s Reflux
Reflux can be upsetting for parents.
It is natural to be worried that something is wrong.
There are a number of simple steps you can take which may help your baby:
- take your time with feeds and stay calm and relaxed if possible
- burp your baby regularly throughout feeding
- don’t force them to take more milk than they want – some babies like to feed small amounts often
- if you’re bottle feeding, check that the hole in your baby’s teat is not too big – giving milk too quickly can make reflux worse
- hold your baby upright for a short time after feeding
Remember, if your baby brings up a lot of milk, they may be hungry again quite quickly. If that happens, you might need to feed them again sooner than usual.
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Does My Baby Have Silent Reflux
Reflux disease is seen in about children. While gastroesophageal reflux disease and LPR can exist together, symptoms of silent reflux are different from other types of reflux.
In babies and young children, typical signs include:
- breathing problems, such as wheezing, noisy breathing, or pauses in breathing
- chronic respiratory conditions and ear infections
- difficulty breathing
- difficulty feeding
- spitting up
- failure to thrive, which may be diagnosed by a doctor if your baby isnt growing and gaining weight at the expected rate for their age
Babies with silent reflux may not spit up, which can make it difficult to identify the cause of their distress.
Older children may describe something that feels like a lump in their throat and complain of a bitter taste in their mouth.
You may also notice hoarseness in your childs voice.
Feed Your Baby More Frequently
Sometimes, acid reflux in babies can be treated by making small changes in the feeding routine.
For instance, start giving less breast milk or formula at each feeding to your baby. To make up for the smaller quantity, give more frequent feedings.
Always remember that babies are more likely to have reflux and to spit up when their stomach is too full.
On the other hand, a less full stomach puts less pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter , and this in turn prevents food from going back into the esophagus from the stomach.
When feeding, try to hold your baby in a more vertical position, and keep him/her upright for 10 minutes after feedings, too. Avoid putting your baby down right after feeding, and make sure to burp your baby after every feeding.
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Smaller More Frequent Feedings
Feeding a baby with reflux can be challenging. Breastfed babies who have reflux may try to soothe the pain by nursing, which can exacerbate the issue.
Formula-fed infants can go longer stretches between feedings, however, this is also not ideal for babies with reflux.
Aim to feed your baby every two to three hours while awake. This may mean reducing the number of ounces your baby gets at each feeding. Overfeeding can increase abdominal pressure, which worsens reflux symptoms.
You may also find nipples with smaller holes to be helpful for your baby. Look for bottles that are designed to reduce the amount of air your baby takes in during feedings.
When To Start Solids
- At the current time, there is little to no evidence to suggest that starting solid feeds early can help with reflux. It is important to follow the Australian recommendation as discussed in the current Australian Infant Feeding Guidelines which is to introduce solids at around six months of age and not before four months.
- When your infant is ready, start to introduce a variety of solid foods, starting with iron rich foods, while continuing to breast or formula feed.
- You should only start solids when your baby starts to show signs of readiness. This is the best guide in relation to when to start solids for your baby. The signs are things such as showing interest in what you are eating and possibly trying to grab your food, losing the tongue thrusting reflex which pushes the food out of their mouth and being able to sit upright. For some babies, these developmental milestones appear earlier or later than six months, but generally not before four months.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Gastro
The main sign of gastro-oesophageal reflux is frequent spitting up or regurgitation after feeds. This is often accompanied by abdominal pain or general crankiness in the hours after feeding. Over time, babies with reflux may not gain weight as expected and may have frequent chest infections due to aspirating stomach contents into the windpipe and lungs. The inside surface of the oesophagus may become inflamed due to contact with stomach acid, which may lead to scarring and narrowing.
How Is Reflux Diagnosed
Reflux is usually diagnosed by a doctor or child health nurse. GORD requires a doctors assessment and tests to confirm a diagnosis.
Sometimes there may be another problem that causes reflux. You should see your GP or Child Health Centre if your baby has any of the following symptoms:
- Green, yellow or blood-stained vomiting
- Difficulty swallowing, is gagging or choking
- Irritability and consistently difficult to settle
- Sudden and forceful vomiting in large volumes
- Refusing feeds or wont eat
- Swollen or bloated tummy area
- Blood or mucous in poo
- Losing weight or only gaining weight slowly.
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Keep The Baby Upright After Meals
Well, whenever you feed your child, hold him upright for around half an hour after the meals. This is one of the most effective ways to treat acid reflux in infants. It will allow the food to settle in the stomach, preventing acid reflux.
Hopefully, you will be able to comfort your child the next time he suffers from acid reflux. These tips will help out. If the problem continues to trouble your child, you need to consult with a doctor.
Reflux: Babies ‘in Agony’ And Parents Feeling ‘ignored’
Parents of babies suffering from acid reflux say they do not feel they are taken seriously when trying to seek help.
About 40% of babies experience reflux, with 90% growing out of the condition by the age of one and it does not usually cause discomfort.
However, some can experience pain, discomfort and trouble gaining weight.
“She cried 18 hours a day,” Sophie Edwards said of her baby Luna, who was born in April during lockdown.
“It not only was a traumatic birth but what followed has been just as traumatic,” Sophie, from Wrexham, said.
Sophie described Luna as an “angry, sad and screaming little baby” until she was four months old when doctors prescribed heart burn medication and a special formula milk.
“One midwife told me I just had an ‘irritable baby’ and that I was ‘tired’. Another health visitor over the telephone told us to try her back on normal formula and plough on through.”
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said it was working to follow the guidelines during the pandemic, and to support patients and families as much as it could.
Alison Cowell, assistant area director for children’s services, said: “As a result of the guidance, all patients are risk-assessed and any child or family where a face-to-face appointment is deemed essential, can receive one.
Sophie is not alone in her experience, with parents on a Facebook support group saying they feel “ignored” when trying to get help.
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Natural Remedies To Stop Silent Reflux
Silent reflux can both be prevented, treated, or stopped. Silent reflux usually disappears as the baby gets older and utterly goes when the baby clocks one year. There are natural remedies that can prevent the occurrence of reflux in a baby or treat reflux with any surgical procedure. Furthermore, these remedies would not possess any adverse effect on the baby. Silent reflux baby natural remedies include