Dealing with reflux in babies can be really difficult. My oldest son was diagnosed with silent reflux at 5 motnhs. My second son was diagnosed with reflux at 6 weeks and suffered very badly. When I was pregnant with Darcey I knew it would probably be the same for her and around 5 weeks she was diagnosed with reflux as well.
I wrote a post about looking out for reflux in babies. It’s natural for babies to cry and be slightly sick. Darcey however was very sick, not just after every feed but all the time. This can be hard for parents as babies can’t be comforted. I suffered from severe heartburn when pregnant and the thought of my baby constantly having the acid sensation in her throat and stomach is upsetting.
Ben had a scan when he was a baby and I could see the milk moving in and out of his stomach as the valve at the top wouldn’t stay closed. The doctors said they don’t really offer this now and that the standard procedure if they suspect reflux is to treat it. Darcey was given 3 different medications, Gaviscon to thicken her milk, Domperidone to encourage the food to move through her quicker and Ranitidine to supress the acid.
I’m pleased to say that at 10 months we are now seeing a big difference. She is far less sick and we have stopped the Domperidone. She still has the Gaviscon in her bottles 3 times a day and the Ranitidine morning and night.
Now that Darcey is weaned and eating proper food it is staying down a lot better. Also the fact she is far more upright with sitting and crawling has really helped. She is a lot more contented. I have tried to decrease the two medications she is still taking but the reflux comes back so she clearly needs to take these for the time being.
We last had a check up with the paediatricians when she was 9 months. They have asked me to keep her dairy free until she is 18 months as dairy intolerance and reflux can go hand in hand. Then when she is 18 months they will start her on the milk ladder to introduce it slowly into her system.
For me this is no problem, she has prescription formula milk that is dairy free. I cook her food so anytime I need to add milk I use her formula. I also use her formula in her muesli and porridge in the morning.
It does get better
I know that being a parent of a reflux baby can be hard. Ben had really bad reflux, he would aspirate and get awfull chest infections. He had 5 abnormal chest x-rays before he was 2 years old. This would often lead to multiple course of antibiotics or on some occasions IV antibiotics. He had a steroid inhaler to help his lungs as well. I promise it gets better though. I now have a strapping 8 year old who has no ongoing medical issues. He eats for England and has no further issues with his lungs.