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Help with reflux

Wednesday, 15 June 2016  | 

Reflux

In Jack's early life he really struggled after drinking milk. He would scream for hours, arch his back and be generally very upset. As a first time parent I was clueless and finding it very difficult. After a few trips to the emergency out of hours service during the Christmas period, we were told he had reflux. In most instances children with reflux bring up their feed, Jack did not. He had silent reflux. Instead of bringing up feed, he would swallow it instead. I remember feeling completely overwhelmed at the time but looking back I realise that there were steps I took that improved the situation. It also like most things didn't last forever.

1) Don't be afraid to go to the doctors

In the first few weeks, I battled on at home as I had heard reflux and sickness in young babies was normal. The screaming and the arching were not though and I soon realised I needed to get Jack some medical help. Don't be afraid to go to the doctors, it is better to get your child checked over for your peace of mind and your little ones health.

2) Find what works for you

After attending the doctors Jack was given a course of Gaviscon that we added to his feed. This had absolutely no positive effect on his reflux. I'm sure it worked for many other babies but it didn't for Jack. I then tried Jack on a different milk - an anti reflux milk. This milk was thicker and whilst it took far longer to make, it was the single most important thing we did to help Jack. The reflux pretty much stopped straight away. It may take a while to find a solution but you will get there.

3) Offer smaller feeds

We started offering Jack smaller feeds. He would feed more often which meant more sterilising and washing of bottles but it also meant that Jack wasn't taking on too much milk making regurgitation less likely.

4) Wind your baby after a feed and hold them upright for longer.

We made sure we also winded Jack after a feed. Holding him upright after a feed was also helpful as it allowed Jack's stomach to settle and stopped the milk travelling back up his throat as it often did when we lay him flat.

5) Raise the head end of your babies cot

We put books under the head end of Jack's cot. This meant that he slept in a slightly raised position meaning the acid didn't settle onto his throat and cause subsequent discomfort while he slept.

This period is difficult but there is plenty of support out there. Health visitors, doctors, friends and family were very helpful to me during this period. My little boy is now two and this time is a distant memory.