Monday, February 8, 2010

Helping Babies With Reflux

I spend a lot of time at work helping premature or developmentally disabled infants with feeding problems. I have also become a resource for many of my friends with babies who either are known to have reflux or are having feeding or weight gaining issues. One website I have found helpful is:

I also like the book Colic Solved by B. Vartabedian, M.D., a pediatric GI doctor who talks about reflux and "colic"

My son had reflux problems even after he was one years of age. Many kids improve with spitting up once they have started solid foods, but some do not. I have previously blogged on how my son had problems gaining weight and was somewhat fussy due to the spitting up episodes; we called him "Milkshake"! Thank goodness for the medicines, positioning, burp cloths, and time!

Remember that a baby doesn't have to necessarily spit up massive amounts to be diagnosed with reflux (GERD). Wet burps, hiccups, congestion, tummy aches/gas, and fussiness can be symptoms too. Overall my son was a "Happy Spitter", but sometimes the acids of the spit-up really hurt his throat and he became fussy. Thank goodness for Prevacid (R)! The Zantac (R) was helpful earlier on, but then not so much later on. But every baby is different. He also took a medicine for motility to speed up the digestion process; this may be needed if the baby is spitting up even 2 hours after a bottle/ breastfeeding.

A big pet peave of mine is when parents don't continue to give their baby the prescribed reflux meds! Maybe they do this because the baby is gaining weight or they didn't think it was helping, or maybe the baby spits up less. But "Hey" maybe the child got better because he had been taking the medicine! But any wet burp is going to irritate the throat, that is why so many of these kids guzzle down a bottle or pull away and don't want to drink. It is also the reason they don't sit up well because they are arching back in pain. Remember to discuss discontinuation of meds with the doctor! Maybe something else could work better or a different dose or giving it at a different time of day. The doctor probably has plenty of swell ideas, but he/she needs to know!

Now I am stepping off of my soapbox and thankful that we haven't needed any burp cloths in my house for the autumn and winter months...yeah! I am passing them along to a dear friend of mine who has a young infant who spits up often! Remember: Spit Happens

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