Muslins at the ready!
The possibility of having a baby with reflux issues hadn’t crossed my mind during pregnancy. I’d read about “posseting” and the dreaded colic but thought no more of it that is until my little Jay bird arrived. Reflux is hard on the parents but really tough on babies. It happens due to an underdeveloped lower oesophageal sphincter (The stomach muscular valve) which does not close after a feed. Milk flows back into the throat and this results in regurgitation out the mouth. Some other symptoms include constant or sudden crying, irritability, arching the neck and back after eating.
‘Silent’ Reflux occurs with no visible regurgitation, however the stomach’s acid still travels up into the oesophagus, and is one of the most difficult conditions to diagnose since the baby doesn’t spit up.
Jay still has reflux at 17 weeks but it’s getting much better as each month passes. The first 6 weeks for any parent are particularly exhausting as you adjust to this little person living with you. In those early days it would take 2-3 hours to settle Jay after each feed holding him as we couldn’t lie him down flat. When eventually he would settle I remember listening out to check he wasn’t choking and running to the moses basket if I heard a noise.
I scoured websites searching for ways to deal with the constant daily feed milk projectile throw ups but the reality is that it’s something you end up coping with and accepting that there will be a lot of washing and cleaning.. LOTS!
I just hope Baby Jay grows out of it like I hear many parents say babies do. I guess once he is sitting up on his own things might calm down a little. I have had to learn to develop extra patience and to stay calm during the reflux episodes and to take each day as it comes.
Things that have helped:
Keeping baby upright during feeding and at least for 20 minutes after feeding
Nappy change before feeding
Trying to feed little but often (avoid overfeeding)
Infacol at each feed but always check with medical professional before using
Try to burp/wind baby half way through feeding and after
Keeping muslin squares close by wherever you are with baby
Avoid tight fitting clothes around baby’s tummy
Baby Massage may give some relief by helping digestion and relaxing baby
Raising the head end of the moses basket
Using a reflux wedge pillow
Speaking to GP for possible medication like infant Gaviscon
A baby carrier or sling to help
Avoid exposure to smoke
Avoid using car seats immediately after feeding
If you are concerned about reflux it might help to talk with your health visitor or GP. There are also support groups that can provide advice and support.
I’m waiting for that magical day when the reflux stops but until then for a baby that has been sleeping through the night since he was 8 weeks old…it’s not so bad.