Treating Acid Reflux in Infants
Like adults, even new born babies can suffer from acid reflux disease. It is known as gastroesophageal reflux (GER). In adults, there is a presence of lower esophageal sphincter (LES) at the base of the esophagus and the upper area of the stomach. It prevents the food from flowing back into the esophagus. In infants, the lower esophageal sphincter and the adjoining gastroesophageal valve is not developed properly.
Acid reflux in infants is called pediatric reflux. By the time your baby becomes one year old, acid reflux symptoms will automatically disappear. In case the pediatric reflux does not seem to subside on its own, you should consult your doctor.
Examine the Symptoms
One of the most common signs is spitting up after you fed your baby. Uneasiness and pain caused by pediatric reflux can cause a sleeping baby to scream loudly. Consistent movements while sleeping, discomfort, vomiting, persistent burping, hiccups, difficulty in swallowing, choking, congestion, coughing at night, loose motions, respiratory problems like wheezing and asthma, making gurgling sound while feeding, fussiness while breast feeding. and bad breath are some of the symptoms of pediatric reflux.
Reducing the Symptoms
Breast milk is the best food for your baby. Since, it can be easily digested as compared to formula; it can effectively reduce acid reflux symptoms. While you breast feed your baby making sure there is no distractions. You should feed her in a dark and silent room. Try breast-feeding in different positions. You can feed her while you walk and stand. Over breast feeding can worsen your baby’s condition. Hence, you should feed small meals to your baby throughout the day. This will help in digesting the milk easily. You should also ensure that your baby does not choke or gag while you feed her.
Since your baby is suffering from pediatric reflux, you should make effort to make your baby burp after you feed her. To do make your baby burp, you should hold your baby in standing position and slowly caress her back. After your baby has burped, lay her on her stomach for about thirty minutes.
Keep a small pillow below the head of your baby to raise the level of her head. The slight elevation will prevent acid reflux while your baby is sleeping. You can make your baby sleep on her side because in this position the outlet of the stomach remains in lower position than the inlet which prevents the digestive acid to flow back to the esophagus.