Signs of reflux include: Signs of pain or discomfort when feeding.
What to do Hold baby upright after a feed.
Reflux has been overdiagnosed in recent years. True reflux is when the contents of the baby’s stomach, and that might be milk or acid, come up the feeding tube towards the baby’s mouth.
Reflux really burns, is very painful and can be very distressing for your baby. It’s something you tend to see in younger babies who are exclusively milk fed and who tend to spend more time lying down and it gets less of a problem as babies sit up more and go on to solid feeds which sit more easily in the stomach.
Signs of reflux in babies include:
Reflux is different from normal posseting when a young baby brings back small amounts of milk after a feed without seeming to mind very much. A posseting baby doesn’t appear to be in pain or distress.
How can I help my baby with reflux?
Parents want to do whatever they can to prevent reflux in their babies. Some parents find it helpful to prop their baby up after a feed at a 45-degree angle in a baby chair or just hold them sitting to allow the milk to settle in the stomach. Carrying your baby in a sling can help with this.
Some parents also find it helps to prop the head end of the baby’s cot up a bit on some (stable) bricks so that the baby’s head is slightly raised compared to the rest of the body.
It can help to carry your baby in a sling that keeps them comforted and upright and try to minimise time in car seats or prams where they can slump into an uncomfortable position. If you notice that they are distressed in this position.
If your baby does suffer from acid reflux, it doesn’t mean that you’ve done anything wrong and it’s a medical condition that you can’t prevent due to the sphincter in your baby’s tummy being a bit slack allowing some of the contents to flow back up into their oesophagus. Your doctor or health visitor can give you more advice. The majority of babies only suffer from reflux for a few months when the sphincter matures and then the symptoms pass.
If you think your baby might be showing signs of reflux, you should take them to be assessed by their family doctor.
Reflux can be managed in many cases, with medication, so if your baby does seem to be unduly distressed on a regular basis then it’s certainly something to think about and investigate.