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Posted by on Apr 8, 2014 in My Family | 24 comments

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Infant Reflux – Our experience

Infant Reflux – Our experience

I certainly think back on NOM’s first 6 months as being an array of clothes changes, muslins, anxieties and pools of sick! Yes NOM, (like many newborn infants) had infant reflux

It took us a while to realise that NOM’s constant breast feeding and sickness was anything unusual because as a new mum I didn’t have anything to compare to. The first couple of weeks we were just adjusting to being first time parents and knew nothing of the reasons behind her poor sleeping habits, constant sickness and her uncomfortable crying (is that not a normal newborn?). We just thought it was normal! It was only when other people started to comment on how sickly she was that we began thinking about underlying problems that were causing her discomfort, as she was wasn’t the most settled of babies and cried ALOT.

This is when we embarked on our everlasting battle of trying to get medical professionals to listen to us! We took her to the doctors at around 2 months old as her poos had gone from the golden brown colour that most breastfed babies had, to a very deep green colour which were quite explosive (TMI sorry!). Doctors put it down to colic and we spent the next month trying all sorts of colic relief products on the market (Colief, Infacol, Dentinox colic drops, even Gripe water!) and different techniques to release wind – my poor hubby spent many of the early hours bouncing NOM up and down in order to get her to release what we thought was trapped wind! None of these gave much relief and we were just hanging on to hope that they would magically work, what with the exhaustion of little sleep and the upset of NOM crying.

In the end I had to return back to searching on the internet, putting in NOM’s symptoms of poor sleep, constant sickness (even hours after a feed) and patterns of discomfort/crying. We eventually came across infant reflux! After reading the symptoms of this:

Waking often at night
Comfort feeding to help alleviate pain
Weight loss or poor weight gain
Excessive crying or irritability during or after feeding
Regurgitation

we realised that it may not be colic but reflux instead. Back to the doctors we went, although she was very reluctant to do anything. Only after doing my research and talking to other mums that had experienced a similar situation, did I know that infant Gaviscon can be prescribed as a feed thickener. I literally had to beg to try it with NOM although the downside was the constipation side effects.

The infant Gaviscon was tricky to administer when breastfeeding, as you generally have to put it in formula to administer it. So cue syringe feeding the infant Gaviscon after mixing it powder with water either before/after a breastfeed. We didn’t really see an improvement in her sickness and all it seemed to do was make her poo more formed. I even tried eliminating dairy based products in my own diet as I read it could  be linked to cows milk intolerance but as it can take a while for the cows milk proteins to completely leave your system, we couldn’t see if this was a factor or not but I continued anyway.

The final straw after yet another sleepless night (she was four months by now!) was NOM projectile vomiting all over our bed – cue me in tears just at the end of my tether in being covered in sick all the time with a baby that comfort feeds all day and night and just won’t sleep or settle. My exhaustion made me take no for an answer and after a conversation with the doctor over the phone, she finally agreed to a hospital referral that same day!

Off we went to the paediatric assessment ward where I was to be observed breast feeding and NOM was assessed physically. There they observed her being sick all over the floor as well as the clear liquid she regularly brought back up with congealed milk in it, normally hours after a feed. They agreed that she needed medication and put her on domperidone (a medicine to tighten the stomach muscles to help keeps feeds from coming back up) and ranitidine (a liquid antacid to help reduce the pain and discomfort of the stomach acid she was bringing back up long after a feed which was causing her so much pain).

It did take a few days to see any results but NOM seemed a bit more settled, especially with the ranitidine. We also propped her mattress up with a rolled up towel so that she was never lay completely flat which helped reduce the feeds coming back up when she was sleeping. We also kept her upright as much as we could after feeds and tried to limit the amount of time she was lay on her back. Also, the one thing that I really didn’t want to introduce was a dummy but if it soothed her symptoms then that’s what we were to do.

Our next issue was that as NOM began to put on more weight, her medication amounts needed to reflect this and my doctor was reluctant to do this, and getting another paediatrician appointment in the meantime was useless. So at  the 6 month mark, we started weaning onto solids and once this was established, NOM never looked back. She was able to keep her food down, she put on weight quicker and finally, at 8 months old, she was sleeping in longer stretches (4 hours which was good for us)! She was released from the paediatrician at 9 months as her symptoms had alleviated so much that she no longer needed medication – NOM’s answer was weaning and to this day she loves her food and has caught up weight wise.

I hate to admit it but those first 6 months were hard. Although I loved NOM to bits, the constant upset, lack of sleep and general worry of her slow weight gain (she was 13.5lb at 6 months) made them much less enjoyable. I still believe that if I had been taken seriously much sooner, then I wouldn’t have found those first 6 months so hard. This time round, if little man expresses any signs of reflux then I will be seeking advice straight away and will not be made to reel like a neurotic mum like I did with NOM……

 

Binky Linky

24 Comments

  1. I am so sorry those first six months were hard. Missy Moo had reflux semi bad but nothing compared to this. I wasn’t prepared for it and the amount of sick those first few months was crazy. Everything was covered all the time including her and me. I found medicine and reflux formal to help after I stopped breastfeeding. I am sorry they didn’t take it much more serious in the beginning and relieved both of you from the pain. Thank you so much for linking up to Share WIth Me Linky. This post is great and hopefully will help others moms that might have babies in the same position and not know about reflux. #sharewithme
    Jenny recently posted…Share With Me ~ wk 10My Profile

    • thanks for letting me get involved hun! xx

    • It’s awful trying to get anyone to listen at all. Such a battle as they are so unwilling to help. thanks for reading hun xx

    • It’s very common. The more I went to find out about reflux, the more mums I found who were also struggling. I’m hoping to do a follow up post about some different strategies to help relieve the symptoms Hope your friend’s little one is ok x

  2. Poor little one! It is so difficult when they are not well and you are not sure what you could do to make them better. Mel #ShareWithMe
    Mel recently posted…A Perfect DayMy Profile

  3. Oh no sounds like you had a tough time, I’m lucky that neither of my kids suffered with reflux. Great post and I’m sure it’ll be really useful for other mummys experiencing the same problems :) #sharewithme
    Emma Kershaw recently posted…Alternative Easter Gift IdeasMy Profile

    • thanks for reading my post! :) xx

  4. My son was also crying too much. His problem is that he cant poo. We have to use suppository on him otherwise he can go without poo for 6-7 or maybe 10 days. Eventually he was diagnosed with hirschsprung and needs surgery. Thankfully he got btter … But i know what you mean. It wasnt what I expect motherhood is. First few months was really hard when a baby cries a lot in pain. #sharewithme
    Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk) recently posted…Play DohMy Profile

    • Totally not the first 6 months I was expecting. I’m so glad to hear they figured out what was wring with your little boy. Glad he’s much better bless him xx

  5. I’ve been lucky that my own children haven’t suffered from reflux but I can only imagine how horrible it is for them knowing how nasty pregnancy heartburn is! Ranitidine was like a miracle for me this time round.
    Fingers crossed you don’t have to go through this again but at least if you do you’re be forwarned x x
    #sharewithme
    Colette B recently posted…Lamaze Bella Bunny and Hide & Seek book – ReviewMy Profile

  6. I’m a firm believer in Mothers Instinct, we ‘know’ when something isn’t quite right and it’s such a shame when mums have to fight so hard to get something diagnosed/treated after being continually fobbed off etc. I’m sorry the first six months were harder than they needed to be but hopefully through writing like this more parents will be able to get help sooner for the awful thing that is reflux.
    Mama Undone recently posted…CompetativenessMy Profile

  7. Sounds like you had a really tough first few months. We were really lucky that our son didn’t suffer with reflux but my friend’s daughter did and she had a terrible time. Thanks for sharing – it’s awful when you’re made to feel neurotic. Mums know their babies best!
    Katie Clark recently posted…Book Power! The Magic Of StoryMy Profile

  8. One of our twins had silent reflux and it was so awful to watch her in pain, not wanting to drink her milk. We tried infacol and numerous antibiotics. The only one really made a bit of difference was Ranitidine. Thanks for linking up #binkylinky
    Emily recently posted…Binky LinkyMy Profile

  9. I feel for you I went through the same with my little boy although he had silent reflux so was never sick. We also got misdiagnosed a few times we were told he just had a sore throat or it was colic. It took a trip to a&e because he hadnt drank anything for a whole day for him to finally be diagnosed properly & get some medicine. I defiantly don’t think there’s enough support from GPs who often think your just an over anxious FTM..but mums always know best! I’m following your blog :) #binkylinky xx

  10. I can relate to SO much of this. My son was 3 weeks old when he was diagnosed with reflux and 1o weeks later he was under consultant care. They prescribed domperidone, ranitidine and ompeprazole and he really suffered badly. He was scheduled for surgery after being referred to Alder Hey and after lots of dietary trials- dairy free, lactose free, soya free, etc. At the age of 3 and a bit, 2 months before surgery, he grew out of it and now eats a normal diet. We do notice that if he eats a lot of dairy over a few days he can get tummy aches and exzema and he does sometimes complain of pain up his windpipe. But on the whole he is ok now. I’ll never forget how hard the early days were there. Reflux is awful! x x x
    ghostwritermummy recently posted…Easter themed Treasure TrayMy Profile

  11. It sounds like you had a really rough time of it and it is terrible the way your GP just kept fobbing you off. Glad to hear things have settled. #binkylinky
    mel @mydaysni recently posted…Taking the Inside OutMy Profile

  12. My son had a little bout with acid reflux but nothing too serious. It’s such a horrible/hard thing to deal with! It always make me feel so sad to see little babies struggling with it. :( Thanks for being so open with your experiences, I’m sure others with similar situations would find it comforting. #sharefriday
    Anyonita recently posted…24 Delicious Mix & Match Easter Dinner Meal Plan OptionsMy Profile

  13. It makes me so annoyed when I hear of doctors not taking mums seriously when it comes to problems with their little ones. You shouldn’t have had to resort to doing the research yourself! I’m so sorry your first 6 months were so hard and that you didn’t get to enjoy them as much as you could have.
    Thanks for linking up with #BinkyLinky
    BakedPotato Mummy recently posted…Easter Mini Egg BrowniesMy Profile

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