Does your baby reject the breast? Do you arch your back regularly? Does it cry if you put it on its back? Do you vomit after feeds? Does your breath smell sour?
Have you answered yes to some of the previous questions? Your baby could be experiencing the bothersome effects of the baby’s reflux.
Trust me, I’ve been through it …
A few days after my daughter was born, I realized that she was not comfortable. She always had a reddish hue to her skin and was very stiff. Every time he tried to bend her legs or arms, she would complain. Since she never threw up, I didn’t think it was baby reflux. I had gas and hiccups so I gave up breastfeeding hoping my daughter would get better. I noticed that she did not complain if she slept upright, whereas if I lay her on her back she cried and did not have a placid sleep. It was the sour smell of his breath that triggered the alarms and made me think of ebb.
The effects of the baby’s reflux are horrible and the pediatrician’s medication only made things worse. Desperate for my baby’s suffering, I decided to try these natural remedies. The results were amazing!
How to detect reflux in the baby in time?
Although the symptoms may vary, these are some of the signs that you should take into account to detect it in time and thus be able to act to alleviate the discomfort it causes in your baby:
- Crying or fussiness after eating
- Coughing or choking regularly
- Breast or bottle rejection
- Leans back after eating
- Stiff back
- Gases and / or foamy poop
- Wheezing, apnea, or shortness of breath (respiratory infections)
- Sour breath
- Belching or hiccups
- Strong and frequent vomiting
- Little weight gain
What Causes GERD in Babies?
First of all, we need to know that all babies have some level of reflux . This is because their digestive system is more immature than in older children. The sphincter muscle , which separates the esophagus from the stomach, is often not fully developed so it opens regularly allowing stomach acid to flow back into the throat causing burning and pain .
As our baby’s brain and nervous system develop, they may have some weakness in their nerve function, which is what controls intestinal mobility and digestion. It is not advisable to put our baby on his back , either to play or to sleep, as this can only increase the symptoms. Some babies may have more severe reflux or may be more sensitive to the effects. Whatever the reason, I want to help you ease their discomfort, and yours.
How is baby reflux diagnosed?
When I started researching what was wrong with my daughter, I discovered that there are actually two forms of baby reflux:
- the gastroesophageal reflux and concealed or silent gastroesophageal reflux .
While GERD in babies generally causes loud and frequent vomiting and intense crying, silent reflux is more subtle: bitter breath, hiccups, stiffness, or physical discomfort are the most typical symptoms of silent reflux.
Fortunately, most pediatricians diagnose reflux in babies by persistent symptoms. However, in some cases they may suggest tests or exams.
Our pediatrician, if he does not have a clear diagnosis, may recommend the following tests:
- Blood test. Some pediatricians will examine various blood markers to see if the eating problems stem from something else, such as anemia or an infection.
- Ultrasound . It is a device that uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the upper gastrointestinal tract for obstructions or abnormalities.
- Barium swallow or upper gastrointestinal examination . The baby is given barium to drink, which covers the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine. Note: Barium is a chalky white liquid that helps highlight any obstruction or abnormality on an X-ray.
- PH probe . A long, thin tube with a probe at the end is inserted through the mouth and placed in the lower part of the esophagus. This measures the baby’s stomach acid levels and helps determine if there are breathing problems. This is a very invasive test and the baby will have to be hospitalized.
- Endoscopy of the upper gastrointestinal tract . It is another invasive test that requires hospitalization. An endoscope is used to look directly into the upper gastrointestinal tract and detect any problems.
Because most of these tests are invasive tests or involve some negative side effects (have you ever tried to find a vein in a baby?), We should consider, with the approval of our pediatrician, starting treatment based on the symptoms of reflux that our baby presents and see if it improves.
Conventional treatment for gastroesophageal reflux in babies
Conventional pediatricians will prescribe medications to reduce or neutralize our baby’s stomach acid . Thus they seek to reduce some of the initial symptoms of reflux in the baby. Some of the medications that you could recommend are:
- Antacids like Mylanta and Maalox
- Histamine-2 blockers such as Axid, Pepcid, Tagamet, or Zantac
- or proton pump inhibitors such as Nexium, Prilosec, or Prevacid
Ironically, many reflux babies do not produce enough stomach acid and suffer from a weak stomach. By giving these drugs, our baby may show temporary relief, but we could also create a more serious problem in the long term. The blocking drugs acid is not recommended in cases of child reflux uncomplicated. Healthy babies who take these medications may face a greater risk since we will be increasing the possibility of developing certain intestinal and respiratory infections. On the other hand, there are studies that link iron and calcium absorption problems in infants with prolonged use of proton pump inhibitors .
There must be a better way to help our baby. And yes, it is. Fortunately, there are several natural remedies for GERD that have helped thousands of babies with it.
Natural Remedies for Baby Reflux
Some babies may have reflux due to the birth process. The birth of my son was long and difficult, so I took him to a chiropractor right away. She was sure to find one who specialized in the delicate art of baby care. It is not the usual work that we can associate with chiropractic ; with a baby the manipulations and movements are very gentle, becoming like a massage. You can find expert chiropractors in the postpartum / newborn stage in most of the Spanish provinces.
Another option I wanted to try was cranial-sacral therapy . Again, I looked for physicians with proven experience with gastroesophageal reflux in babies.
At home, I did some basic massage exercises for my daughter, such as moving her legs alternately, as if riding a bike, flexing them towards her tummy or gently pressing the area around the navel in clockwise circles.
Elevate baby while sleeping
I did this instinctively with my daughter, as she never fell asleep if I placed her on her back on her back. Being very small, as she was not sitting yet, I wrapped her in her blanket and carefully placed her in the group 0+ chair that I took out of the car every day to help me keep her upright. In these cases, hammocks , group 0+ car seats, strollers and the like are excellent for the baby with gastroesophageal reflux to sleep peacefully. If you still have the crib in your room, you can use the group 0+ chair on it.
Elevate baby while eating
While I understand that it is tempting, for the comfort it provides, to use the nursing pillow and feed your baby while lying down, it is best to keep it upright. This ensures that the milk flows down his stomach instead of staying in his esophagus causing discomfort. If you use a bottle , you can support your baby’s back and head against your chest or you can give the bottle keeping your baby in an upright position (you can help yourself with the 0+ group chair, the hammock …). Horseshoe-shaped nursing pillows can be very useful to keep your baby upright after meals, thus calming the baby’s reflux symptoms.
We invite you to read: When do babies sit?
Keep baby upright for at least 30 minutes after feeding
I always held my daughter upright for at least 30 minutes after feeding. To make it easy for you, you can carry it in a baby carrier , in one or simply hold it in your arms while you walk or sit comfortably in an armchair. If your baby is sleepy after feeding, just make sure they sleep with their torso elevated to reduce the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux.
You can also try with shoulder straps or scarves .
If you continue breastfeeding, change your diet
If you breastfeed your baby, try to stop taking dairy products immediately. I know this is difficult, but it may be worth it. If you do, some GERD symptoms go away completely! So it was with my son.
Dairy products can cause problems for our baby as the proteins found in these foods can irritate his immature digestive system. Make sure you don’t have heavy or harmful food or drink for a month. So you can check if it is your diet that is bothering your baby!
It would be interesting if you read this article: How to improve lactose intolerance or poor digestion
Although I don’t normally recommend supplements for young babies, there are times they can be of great help, particularly with a baby’s reflux.
Although I noticed a lot of improvement in my baby using all the above remedies, I felt that it was necessary to help her with something else. So I decided to try a probiotic specially formulated for babies. The Lactobacillus reuteri is a probiotic strain particularly useful as it has been clinically shown to reduce crying time in half of breastfed babies who have cramps. Probiotics can help to stimulate the baby’s digestion and therefore, alleviate many of the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux in them naturally. Simply mix a little Lactobacillus reuteri with breast milk, formula milk , the porridge or give it a few drops with a syringe.You can even mix it with breast milk and leave it to ferment overnight to make yogurt from your own milk!
Best for Last: Homeopathic Remedy
The Schüssler salts d6 is a homeopathic remedy that works miracles!
I read it on a website that described the indications for Schusler’s salts and decided to give it a try. It is a natural cellular salt that we normally produce to aid digestion. It can happen that a newborn does not have enough. I opted to dilute half a tablet in my freshly expressed breast milk. I gave it to my baby with a syringe after each feeding. (You can also put it under the tongue and it will dissolve on its own or dissolve it in formula milk and bottle feed it .)
The next day we both noticed the improvement. She was much happier and her body did not remain so stiff! Wow, what happiness I felt! I continued to use it religiously for a month (half a tablet dissolved in breast milk after each feeding). I did not exceed the maximum allowed of 6 tablets per day – 12 doses – for babies under 3 months. In any case, I recommend that you consult your pediatrician or a homeopathic specialist in babies.
After this month, little by little I was reducing the intake of tablets and we have not needed any digestive supplements again! Some babies may need to take the tablets for a longer time, up to six months or a year, depending on how severe their reflux is. After six months we can increase the dose to one tablet after each intake, with a limit of 8 tablets per day. Again I have to recommend that it is best that you contact a child homeopath so that he can determine the dose and time.
In the event that you decide to try it, you can purchase the tablets here .
A happy ending
To this day, my daughter is feeling great! The reflux completely disappeared within a few months of age. It is true that in some cases, the cure comes later. In the most serious cases, the effects of reflux can be really dramatic (in the case of infant apnea ).
I hope to help you get your baby to stop suffering in the most natural way possible. It is always good to have information about other alternatives to conventional drugs.
Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.