Infant Reflux Diagnosis and Treatment
While more than half of all babies experience infant reflux in their first few months of life, the condition
usually resolves itself within twelve to eighteen months. Often times reflux symptoms are similar to colic or the
average infant fussiness. Read on for some basic guidelines to answer the questions about infant reflux diagnosis
and what you can do.
As a new parent, you should be aware that babies tend to spit up a lot. This happens because the lower
esophageal sphincter (the valve that closes the throat) is not fully developed yet and the soft tissue allows for
liquid to come back up just as easy as it went down. Generally, as the child ages this will be less of a problem,
although it is possible that he or she may exhibiting infant reflux
Apart from being kind of yucky, infant reflux may be an indication of GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder),
which is a severe variation of reflux which results in dreadful pain, sickness and poor weight increase. On the
other hand, a different cause might be Pyloric Stenosis, which is a rare condition in which a narrowed valve
prevents stomach contents from emptying properly into the digestive tract.
It is best to seek medical advice when your baby resists feeding but appears to be hungry, is not really gaining
weight, has less wet diapers than usual and seems fatigued, spits up powerfully, spits up green or brown fluid, or
spits up more than just a few tablespoons at the same time. In cases where your newborn sounds hoarse all the time,
has diarrhea or problems with breathing, then definitely ask your doctor about infant reflux.
When nursing your baby, try to hold your little one in a slightly upright position by holding, employing pillows
or possibly a feeding product, like the Pollywog Nursing Positioner. It is also feasible you might be simply giving
your child too much at once. Experiment with smaller feedings, which may reduce the likelihood of
Should you be bottle feeding, you may want to try another bottle, like Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Bottles, that
were created to minimize air bubbles that cause burping, ear fluid and infant reflux. There are also alternative
formulas that your little one might possibly digest better.
For infants with just infant reflux and no milk allergies, Enfamil AR is created for him or her. Having said
that, in case the milk-based formula seems to upset your infant, soy-based, lactose-free or hypoallergenic formulas
are available. In fact, roughly 25% of new borns in the US are on soy-based formulas. Isomil and Prosobee are a
couple of widely used soy-based formulations on the market. Hypoallergenic formulas include: Alimentum, Nutramigen,
Pregestimil, Neocate and Elecare.
You may also want to reconsider breastfeeding as an option because it reduces the incidence of infant reflux.
Dr. Laura Barmby wrote in New Beginnings magazine, "Breast fed babies seem to cope better with
GERD than artificially fed babies. During breastfeeding, the motion of the baby's tongue triggers peristaltic
waves along the gastrointestinal tract. Human milk digests more completely and almost twice as fast as formula.
The less time the milk spends in the stomach, the less opportunity there is for it to back up into the
In extreme cases, medication may be needed to treat infant acid reflux or
GERD symptoms. Your doctor may recommend medication commonly prescribed to adults, but in much lower
H2 blockers like Tagamet and Zantac or Proton Pump Inhibitors like Nexium and Prilosec are common
recommendations. However, medications should be used as a last resort, since they could be linked to an increased
incidence of intestinal and respiratory infections.
Worst case scenario, some babies have undergone fundoplication surgery to tighten the muscle that allows food to
flow back into the esophagus. Generally, surgery is only needed when GERD symptoms interfere with growth or