Coping With Your Babies Reflux
Author: By Bambella Designs
There is nothing more distressing than seeing your little angel suffering from reflux. The pain, discomfort, uncontrollable vomiting and consistent crying that can occur, particularly if they are suffering from Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) can leave you feeling helpless and overwhelmed.
Reflux is caused when the muscular valve at the end of your baby's food pipe, that keeps food in their tummy, hasn’t developed properly. As a result, when your baby’s tummy is full, food and acid can come back into their oesophagus.
While acid refluxing into the oesophagus is a normal bodily function, it becomes GORD when it leads to physical complications or symptoms which impact on a child’s wellbeing.
How do you know if your baby might be suffering from GORD?
Here are some of the symptoms that may present in babies and children less than two years of age:
• Irritability, excessive crying or screaming
• Vomiting or regurgitation
• Appearing to be in pain
• Recurrent hiccups
• Congestion or appears to have a cold
• Bad or sour smelling breath
• Feeding issues
• Unwillingness to eat (pulling away, crying during feeds or refusing to eat)
• Difficulty settling, constant waking during the night, or restless during sleeping
• Gulping, Gagging or spluttering
• Difficulty swallowing
• Respiratory problems (choking, coughing, wheezing or frequent chest infections)
• Weight gaining issues
What should you do?
If you think, your child may be suffering from reflux it is important to seek medical advice immediately. Reflux issues, in addition to ongoing discomfort, can impact on your baby's ability to put on weight, which is vital in their early stages of development.
If your baby has mild reflux, some of the following tips may help ease their symptoms:
• Hold your baby upright for at least 20 minutes after being fed
• Give smaller feeds more frequently
• Burp your baby every 2 to 3 minutes during feeding
How to maintain your own sanity!
Having a baby with reflux can also be draining for you as a parent. Sleep deprivation, constant crying and seeing your child in distress can take a toll on you.
I know because I’ve been there myself. Both my daughter and son suffered badly with GORD and it was an incredibly stressful and worrisome time for me. It was also a very lonely, exhausting time.
For someone who is normally the strong, got-it-all-together type, it was a shock to find myself balling my eyes out on the kitchen floor feeling so utterly helplessness.
So how do you maintain your own sanity?
1. Know you are not alone
There are many other mothers out there going through exactly the same thing as you. Personally, I found the Reflux Infants Support Association (RISA) [LINK TO: http://www.reflux.org.au], extremely helpful in my journey with two GORD babies. I encourage you to also reach out to them for support.
2. Ask for help and accept offers of help
As much as you may like to think you can do it on all on your own you are only human, and you need a break. Enlist help around the house or get someone to look after your baby while you get things done or rest. You will be better for it.
3. Cut down additional stress with pram and seat covers
With reflux also comes with the never ending washing of clothes, bed linen, prams, car seat covers, change tables mats and more. One of the reasons I designed the Bambella Designs range to save parents like you (and me!) the hassle of scrubbing awkward places and pulling off difficult covers when you're already tired and exhausted.
The Bambella pram liners, car seat covers and capsule covers are machine washable with no hand washing or extra TLC needed to get them back in use. They also have an absorbent layer of PUL (the same material used in nappies) sewn in for extra protection against spit ups and spills.