Reflux, spitting up or possetting are all names used to describe babies bringing back some of the milk that they swallowed earlier. Some spitting up is quite normal in young babies, this may simply be how they deal with too much milk or anything that doesn’t agree with them 12. This article looks at the reasons babies have reflux and answers frequently asked questions. While you’ll need to pay attention to what goes into your body when you’re nursing, the truth is that most medications – both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription – don’t have an effect on the quantity of milk a breastfeeding mom makes or the wellbeing of her baby.
Most cases of regurgitation or reflux resolve within the baby’s first year and require no treatment. GER is uncomplicated, and infants with this type of reflux are often called “happy spitters.” Infants with GER may sometimes experience frequent vomiting, irritability, prolonged or refused feeding, or back arching. If the muscle does not entirely close, liquid flows back into the food pipe from the stomach. This sequence occurs in all people, but it happens more frequently in infants under the age of 1 year.
The question we intend to answer is one of exposure irrelevance, that is, whether feeding mode for exclusively breastfed infants is associated with a greater risk of reflux, which has wide-reaching implications for parent and caregiver counseling and future research. An infant’s ability to self-regulate milk consumption has been postulated as a factor associated with reduced reflux, therefore the manner in which infants are fed breast milk may influence the incidence of reflux.
Note; similar symptoms can be seen with low milk supply, oversupply or a forceful let-down. The acronym for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is GORD or GERD depending where you are in the world and how you spell oesophagus. Sources suggest only one in 300 infants actually has GORD needing treatment16 yet the number of babies given acid-reducing medication tends to be very much higher than this figure (Hassall, 2012).
It is important to remind yourself of these benefits of breastfeeding for mother and baby. Sometimes, it is easy to become wrapped up in the reflux problem and forget about the basics. The benefits of breastfeeding are even more important for a baby with GER than for a baby not bothered by this condition. Breastfeeding benefits the mother, too.
H2 blockers are usually used for short-term or on-demand relief and PPIs are often used for long-term GERD treatment. In breastfed babies, removing immunogenic foods, such as cow’s milk and eggs, from the mother’s diet may improve symptoms. Learn which formulas will help ease your baby’s acid reflux, including hydrolyzed protein formulas, soy milk formulas, and specialized formulas. Always put your baby to sleep on their back on a firm mattress. Make sure the crib or sleeping area is free of thick blankets, pillows, loose objects, or plush toys.
- We are proud to announce that Laura Barmby’s booklet, Breastfeeding Your Baby with Reflux, is now available for free.
- The need for this type of surgery is rare, especially in infants.
- This also applies to sleeping positions.
- In addition to being off-limits for pregnant women, abstinence from alcohol is also recommended while breastfeeding.
The baby nurses with his face down into the breast. This position can help if the baby reacts strongly to the milk ejection reflex or if the baby gags or chokes. If you are nursing lying down side-by-side with your baby, elevate his head on your arm while he nurses. Use a pillow behind your lower back so that you can angle your body slightly away from your baby to get the nipple at the right height.
Allergy should be suspected in all infant reflux cases. According to a review article in Pediatrics [Salvatore 2002], up to half of all GERD cases in babies under a year are associated with cow’s milk protein allergy. The authors note that symptoms can be similar and recommend that pediatricians screen all babies with GERD for cow’s milk allergy.
bottle-fed babies find relief from reflux when thickened formula is used. In exclusively breastfed babies that suffer from acid reflux, effective treatment would be to eliminate eggs and cow’s milk from the maternal diet.