Having my first baby was a bit of a shock to the system, it wasn’t as easy as I thought especially as my child kept passing out and and we couldn’t really work out why. It turned out that he has something called Silent Acid Reflux which is like normal reflux without all the other symptoms. Its a totally traumatic experience for parents and something I didn’t even know about until I had kids. So when I was offered this information for you I thought it was helpful to post it up.
Bringing up a little bit of milk after feeding is completely normal. Known as ‘reflux’ or ‘possetting’, this is usually a result of an under-developed oesophagus. Most babies grow out of the condition after 12 months or so, and most shouldn’t experience anything more than a little discomfort during and just after a feed.
Serious complications caused by reflux are very rare, but they can lead to complex problems without quick and effective treatment. However, in most cases the signs of reflux are easy to spot – and relatively easy to treat.
What are the signs of baby reflux?
One of the tell-tale signs of baby reflux is waking up regularly throughout the night. If you know that your baby is full, clean and comfortable, there is a reasonable chance that your baby’s inability to sleep is the result of reflux. You might also find that your child wants to comfort feed for pain relief. The main – and most obvious – symptoms of reflux are regurgitation and excessive crying during or just after feeding.
What can you do to relieve your baby’s reflux at home?
There are several relatively simple steps you can take to relieve the symptoms of reflux in the home, including burping your baby at regular intervals during feeding, holding your baby upright, and feeding little and often. You should also check that the hole in your baby’s teat isn’t too big if you’re bottle-feeding.
When should you seek medical advice for your baby’s reflux?
While small amounts of regurgitated milk are part and parcel of feeding a baby, you should consult a doctor if your baby starts projectile vomiting or gagging on excessive amounts of milk. Indeed, there are several symptoms that should be a cause for concern, including:
● Trouble swallowing
● Bad breath
● Respiratory problems
● Chronic sleeping problems
● The drawing of legs up to the stomach after feeding
● Persistent and severe crying
● The arching of the back during or after feeding
● A loss of appetite
● Weight loss or insufficient weight gain
In isolation, one of these symptoms shouldn’t be a cause for concern. But you should seek medical advice if your child is suffering from several symptoms at the same time, or if the symptoms are prevalent during every feed.
What are the causes of baby reflux?
A common cause of baby reflux in premature babies, or babies with muscular disorders, is a weakened valve at the bottom of the oesophagus. A defective valve allows acid to leave the stomach and travel up through the oesophagus – causing a severe burning sensation. Some babies experience reflux due to an allergic reaction to formula or cow’s milk. A rarer cause of baby reflux is a blockage or deformity in the digestive tract, which will usually require surgery.
What are the treatments available for baby reflux?
If your baby’s reflux is being caused by a weakened valve in the oesophagus, your doctor might prescribe an anti-regurgitation formula containing an antacid and a foam barrier that ‘plugs’ the opening between the oesophagus and the stomach. If your baby’s reflux is a result of an allergy to infant milk, a fully hydrolysed formula might be prescribed – which is easier to digest. Severe cases of reflux in babies might be treated with medication that reduces the amount of acid produced by the stomach. There are many baby reflux treatments at The Portland Hospital, and a consultant paediatrician will be able to talk you through them all in detail.
Babies cry for many reasons, and reflux might be just one of them. If your child is regurgitating milk regularly and is showing clear signs of distress, seeking medical advice from a private children’s hospital will help you to get a diagnosis and begin treatment as quickly as possible.