Reflux or GERD symptoms

Nicole - posted on 10/17/2011 ( 20 moms have responded )

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My 4 mo old wakes very soon after being laid down for naps or bedtime. I always make my best effort to get a burp out and usually no problem but lately I've not been able too after 15min then I just think shes ok and lay her down, then within minutes, she cries and I pick her up and see shes puked or when I pick her up a burp comes out. This morning she projectile vomitted and was very fussy and whiny while breastfeeding or after I should say. Shes a very happy baby so I didnt put it together but she doesnt sleep, and now Im thinking its Reflux or GERD (havent looked up the difference yet between them) Im looking for any tips you guys have had with babies with these similar problems. I just wish she would get a good sleep longer than 30min.

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Aleks - posted on 11/02/2011

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Before going off and medicating your baby you should try the following:

- get the foremilk/hindmilk balance right ( as mentioned above by Kelly) - best way to tell if this is the case is if baby has highly explosive poos that are also very frothy (and potentially very dark green)

- if above does not help, try an elimination diet as many "reflux" or "GERD" problems are actually food intollerance SYMPTOMS. Most common problem foods are: dairy, soy, wheat/gluten,(corn if in US), nuts, eggs. Food intollerances can occur in groups also, so need to be watchful for this if going down elimination diet route, which should also be done with some professional help - also need to be very very careful with the elimination diet as many products bought at supermarkets have the offending items in them, so reading the lables/list of ingredients carefully is an absolute MUST (eg, useless eliminating milk, cheese, yoghurt and icecream when one then eats bread which has milk products in it, etc. as that will not give accurate results regarding that food intollerance being present or not)



Both my babies were Dairy intollerant (no not Lactose Intollerant, this is very different and also extremely, extremely rare in little babies/children. Dairy intollerance involves being unable to digest the proteins found in ALL DAIRY, so drinking lactose free milk will not help the situation). My 2nd born suffered greatly with the dairy intollerance (more so than my 1st) and also had/has soy intollerance and yeast intollerance. Usually a food intollerance can also show in other ways and not just in usual reflux. Quite commonly there is "silent reflux" - which sometimes can be hard to diagnose, but will typically make a baby very "fussy" and quite often "colicy" while at the same time wreaking havoc on their sleep (my girl did not sleep longer than 45min naps during day time and would wake up screaming- which I did not understand what that was at the time, and sometimes would be awake every 30-60min for the entire night, not fun!). Both my babies had blood in stool - which disappeared as soon as dairy was eliminated. Some of this I have also mentioned to you in another of your OP.

I exclusively breastfed both of them and hence had to alter my diet initially, as the proteins from milk, and soy entered the breastmilk which then affacted their stomachs and bowels.



Good luck in your search for answeres to your little girls (and yours) troubles. Good luck and hope you both get the rest you are looking for.

Mia - posted on 10/30/2011

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Hi Nicole, 2 out of my 3 children have reflux requiring medication. We tried many different strategies including how I fed & what I ate to rule out other underlying problems. One of my boys had milk protein allergy which made his reflux worse.

I read this great book by Bryan Vartabedian M.D. called Colic Solved & it explains the difference between reflux & GERD. Basically all babies have reflux to some degree but GERD is when their reflux is interfering with their day to day activities - such as sleeping, feeding, weight gain etc.

My suggestion would be to go & see your paediatrician, a good one will help to work through & rule out other underlying problems & listen to you, rather than tell you it's just colic. There's no such thing as colic, blurrgggh, such a cop out! There's always a reason why a baby is unhappy.

Thickening feeds only helps if the baby constantly vomits, to help them keep the feed down longer. It never helped my 2nd boy. I've not needed to do it with my 3rd boy but he's on Zantac & losec combo which seems to be helping him. We're also testing him for milk protein allergy.

My baby had symptoms from 2weeks, screaming after feeds & while trying to burp, lots of vomiting, crying when spitting up, arching his back, smacking his lips like he's got a taste in his mouth, not wanting to be put down, waking after being layed in bed, fussing during feeds, projectile vomiting mmmm, i'm sure there's more!! But the meds certainly did help. I keep him upright after feeds & elevate his bed which helps, I also sleep him on his left side which helps digestion. He won't take a dummy though, which doesn't fix the relux but soothes them when their tummy is upset. Good luck, go see your doctor!!

Kelly - posted on 10/29/2011

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Hi, please before you give any meds try looking at your breast milk ; ) if you can pump off the first part of your milk you will see that it is very watery this is called pre milk and it hurts their sweet little tummies ; ( anyway if you can pump till you get to the heavy milk and then let the baby nurse you will have a happy baby with out a gassy tummy. My little man went through a bout of this all upset, crying ,gassy, throwing up right after nursing it was a nightmare! I searched the web and called Lalache and was told to try this. I did, and it WORKED omg we were both so happy!! Best of luck to you both : )

Nicole - posted on 10/17/2011

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I just elevated her crib and she's a tummy sleeper (I know its a "no no) and I help her sitting up a bit for almost 30min after feeding, she's breastfed but I had 5oz of milk reserve left so I gave her hat with 3 tablespoons of rice cereal pr doctors suggestion...I wis she would slep in a bouncy chair or with me ill try but never done it before.

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Cassie - posted on 11/11/2011

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My 6 month old son was doing the same thing about a week ago, i didn't have a clue to as what might have been causing him to wake up shortly after i laid him down. Glad to know that i'm not the only mommy with a baby that wakes up right after i lay him down. He still does it from time to time. Maybe it has to do with something i eat, since i am breastfeeding him. Good luck on getting it worked out.

Cassie Parker

Aleks - posted on 11/02/2011

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Oh I have just read some of the other comments you made and thought that I should point this out btw, my little girl didn't "puke" like projectile vomiting some babies experienced. Yet she was quite bothered by the spit ups she did have. All went away as soon as dairy eliminated. I was away from home for about a week (our house being painted for sale) and I was eating a bread different to one I usually ate (though it was the same brand as mine, but just different, so I thought it would be alright), she started spitting up again (after not doing so for over 6mths) and I couldn't figure out why, she also had a runny nose though wasn't acting sick/like she had a cold. After about 4-5 days I, for whatever reason, read the ingridient list of that bread. Lo and behold, there it was.... it had milk solids in it. I stopped eating that bread and she stopped spitting up.
Just thought that I should mention this, just because your baby isn't a huge vomiter and is just slightly spitting up does not mean it is not important. It could be.

Maree - posted on 10/30/2011

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my babys symptoms were...screaming non stop for hours,pulling off the breast during feeding,arching back,coughing and swallowing,she didnt spit up much as she was swallowing the vomit back down making the pain worse,would not be put down,especially on her back.

Maree - posted on 10/28/2011

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My daughter has reflux and my son had it as a baby as well. My son was not medicated and it was like being in Hell the first 6 months of his life. when my daughter got it (while still in hospital) we had a Paediatrician come in and she was medicated immediately as her reflux was so bad that the nurses in the hospital were so worried and had never seen a baby that bad. She was on Losec for 6 months and has just come off it in the last few days. I don't know how difficult your baby is or if she is in pain (or how you feel about medication) but it was a life saver for us...worked like a charm and i had a happy settled baby within a week.

Emma - posted on 10/23/2011

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I am in Australia, not sure where you are from. My daughtr had silent reflux, and another Mums daughter the same age had reflux. Both of our daughters were ut on a liquid medicine called losec. It was the best thing for them, my daughter improved so much with eating and sleeping especially.

Michelle - posted on 10/19/2011

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My kids had a hard time gaining weight because of the constant puking. My daughter went from the 75th percentile to the 20th then fell off the chart. My son was 9lbs 6oz at birth and constantly ate but constantly puked as well. He dropped to the 10th percentile for a while. He's now in the 20th at 3 1/2 years old. He didn't sleep well at all--maybe an hour at a time if I was lucky. He was really uncomfortable. The idiot GI I initially took him to told me he had sleep issues to which I told her that anyone would if they were constantly in pain and puking. I switched dr after a 3rd bad appointment in which they totally missed other problems which landed us in the ER the next day. He was severely constipated despite the fact that he had several bowel movements a day. He still has this problem where he doesn't completely empty. You never know, there could be an issue there for your baby as well. Once I introduced solids, that was a whole other issue because many foods bothered him. He was hungry but had a hard time digesting. And his breath could knock you out!
He has GERD not just reflux. His immune system as a result is a little weaker.

The medications do help. But if you can avoid starting your baby on it, I would. It's really a vicious cycle. Keep track of it. Keep a diary of what you eat, how ling she feeds, if she gets gassy, when, how long the discomfort lasts, if she's arching her back, knees to the chest, if there's anything that relieves her discomfort, etc. Quite often the dr will want to start out with tests to determine if reflux is the cause before starting medications.
Good luck! I know what you are going through really well. Rest when you can. It will get better!!!

Ana - posted on 10/19/2011

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Hi, both of my babes had reflux. My daughter even dropped to the 5th percentile because her reflux was so bad. Both were on Prilosec, which like Prevacid is a PPI or an acid blocker. Zantac is an h2 inhibitor and an acid reducer. Although babies reflux, not all babies have acid reflux. I would definitely talk to your pedi about a medication to help since it sounds like your baby is uncomfortable and not sleeping. Thickening with rice cereal has been found in the research to be moderately effective in the treatment of reflux in full term healthy babies. Thickening feeds may reduce the vomiting but it will not stop the reflux as research has found babies continue to reflux but in their lower esophagus. Also, you cannot thicken breast milk with neither rice nor oats as there is an enzyme in breast milk that breaks down the rice or oats and within minutes, you have a thin liquid. So, ask yourself does my baby spit with every meal, arch, cry as if in pain, clench their fists, bring their legs in to their tummy, and have difficulty eating as these are all signs of reflux. Maybe get a log together and see if these symptoms add up so you are ready with info for the pedi. If u close to medicate, most doctors will start with Zantac and work up to the PPI meds. Otherwise you can try colic calm as it is all natural and over the counter, though also run it by your doctor. Good luck. I have been there and understand how tired you are. Get rest when u can and don't worry, refulx starts to get better starting at 4 months.

Nicole - posted on 10/19/2011

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Oh wow, you have alot of kids and experience HA! Congrats on your new baby on his/her way! Maybe this isnt refulx maybe she is just a fussy high needs baby? She doesnt puke at every feeding, just some spit up, but when shes feeding and needs a burp she squeals like shes in soo much pain, then when I go to lay her down on her side (cradle hold) to rock her she loses her mind! Kicking, straightening out, pinching, scratching (shes 4 months!!!) She just knows its sleep time and doesnt like it? OR its something Im not seeing. Im having such a hard time, naps only last 20-30min and some days she only takes 1. Some days we try for almost 3hours to nap for only 20min...its not worth the fight I dont know what to do.

Michelle - posted on 10/19/2011

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I have been dealing with this for a few years now. My daughter had it (started at 10 days) by puking after most feedings. Finally it cleared on it's own by 9 months. No meds were given. For her it was a matter of strengthening her tummy muscles that helped. My son started with it at 10 days as well but has been far worse. He is now almost 4 and still has it. We started on Zantac at 4 months, then finally moved to prevacid. He was on both meds actually then changed to have more meds added in. Your diet can definitely be a factor. Anything gassy including garlic, onions, cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower--stay away. Also, nothing carbonated or spicy. Chocolate can be constipating... Definitely elevated her bed. I also used my bouncer a lot and that helped during the day but not always. It's challenging. I would NOT add rice to your breastmilk. The sooner you introduce food, the greater the risk of food allergies. I found this site to be really helpful. www.reflux.org We've been through a lot of testing--ph probes, CT, endoscopies, just to name a few. He's better but not out of the woods. My 3rd child had a bit of reflux but nothing in comparison. And my 4th child us due any day now... If you can avoid the meds, I would. Gripe water also helps if she's just gassy. Also, I used to put them across my lap (tummy on my knees) and massage them until they burped. Rubbing the crown of the head seemed to also help with burping for some reason.

Good luck!!!

Nicole - posted on 10/19/2011

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Thank you ladies, this is so helpful. Could you guys tell me what your babies symptoms were? Her pediatrician says all babies have a form of reflux and told me to elevate for 30min after feedings, cut out gas producing veggies and certain foods (which I'm now unsure of what I can eat and feel I'm not getting enough) also told me to try adding rice cereal to breastmilk 1tbsp to 1oz....

Carolyn - posted on 10/19/2011

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I agree with Elizabeth that prevacid is better than zantac and other meds. We started out with prevacid and switched to zantac because prevacid was not covered by our insurance but we quickly switched back to prevacid because zantac did not work.

Elizabeth - posted on 10/19/2011

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My daughter had horrible reflux for 10 months. She slept with an elevated mattress from the time she was about 1 mo old. Put several pillows under the mattress to create a gentle incline while still supporting the mattress to keep it firm. Place the baby at the bottom on the incline, with no pillows, blankets, animals, etc., as the incline will make it possible for baby to easily roll under a blanket. My daughter slept this way on her back until she was old enough to roll over, at which point she would frequently roll herself over onto her tummy. Also, there are sleep posiitioning wedges that are created for the same purpose. I can't remember the brand I was looking into for my daughter, but it was expensive so we didn't go that route. If you do, make sure it's a firm wedge. The one I saw recommended most had a little sling to put the babies legs through so that they could not slide down off the wedge. My DD was also on prevacid for 10 months as well. I would recommend prevacid over zantac or other meds. Do your homework and talk with your pediatrician about what might be best. I don't tend to recommend thickening milk with rice as many times GERD is caused by an under developed digestive system. Introducing rice is not a good idea until the baby is developed enough to digest it.

Carolyn - posted on 10/19/2011

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My DD had reflux when she was an infant and she slept in a vibrating seat that rocked (naps and nighttime for a couple months until she started sleeping through the night then just naps). So I would rock her gently in the seat until she fell asleep and keep the vibration on while she slept. Something about vibration helps digestion. We wound up putting her on prevacid (as prescribed by her doctor) because she was screaming every time I tried to nurse her and even refused a bottle with breastmilk. I would talk to your doctor. There is also a certain way you can massage her belly...my doctor gave me a paper with a diagram...maybe you could ask your doctor. Baby wearing also worked for us. Good luck!

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My daughter has reflux. Keep baby upright after feeds insteand of laying her down flat. My daughter usually naps in the bouncy chair or in a carrier on me. We co-sleep and she usually does ok at night, but will sometimes puke all over me upon waking. Baby wearing has been really helpful for us.

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