If you’ve heard the words “gastric reflux” you know it’s not a pleasant experience. More commonly known as just “reflux,” it can be a big problem for babies, making them more unhappy than usual.
What is Gastric Reflux?
There is a valve at the top opening of your stomach, and reflux occurs when that valve doesn’t close properly after eating. For babies, the valve hasn’t fully developed yet which is the cause of most babies’ “spills” and “spit-ups”. Infants often spill a little when being burped after feeding – this is completely normal with a developing valve.
With Gastric Reflux Disease – severe reflux that can cause problems – rather than being full and contented, a baby will often be irritable and unhappy. You do not need to worry about medication or surgery unless you are worried that your baby isn’t putting on enough weight or that baby is in pain due to reflux complications. Doctors should only talk about surgery if they can’t control the gastric reflux disease with medication. This type of reflux is rare. Remember, reflux is unpredictable and some days will be better or worse than others.
How Common is Infant Reflux?
Reflux occurs in over 50 percent of new-borns and it is very common in the first three months. Spilling is a mild form of reflux, and babies will sometimes even vomit or “power-chuck,” forcing mum (or Dad), to wear a nappy on their shoulder to protect their clothing. This type of reflux usually resolves itself within a year. More severe reflux is stressful for both the infant and parents and is characterised by excessive vomiting, screaming or crying during or after feeding, arching the back, being unsettled, or taking just a small feed before refusing more.
What Can Help With Infant Reflux?
Some useful products for reducing reflux are ones that keep your baby upright without slouching or pressuring their tummy such as front or back carriers, strollers, and high chairs. Burp cloths and bibs are absolute must-have items, and breast-feeding pillows that keep your baby’s back straight while feeding are also helpful. Keeping your baby’s back straight means that more food can be digested during feeding so there is less to come back up after.
Brolly Sheets also have a very helpful and versatile product that can help. The Brolly Sheet Cot Pad with wings is a small waterproof sheet that goes great in the bassinet or cot and makes cleaning up spills and reflux super easy – just whip it out and wash it without having to worry about changing the whole cot or bassinette. Brolly Sheets support safe sleeping practices and recommend Brolly Sheets Cot Pads for young babies who cannot roll or change sleeping positions. We also offer a Quilted Cotton Cot Protector for extra protection of the whole cot. Their larger size Brolly Sheets are also handy for protecting your bed when breast or bottle feeding.
For more information and help go to www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/