Reflux is a very common problem that is faced by a large number of small babies around the country. It is a medical condition where the contents of the stomach including undigested foods as well as stomach acids flow back into the esophagus. This reverse flow of stomach acids causes a lot of discomfort and a bad taste in the mouth of the babies. It is not a big issue for adults as they have experienced it on several occasions such as after eating a very spicy meal or by a mother during her pregnancy. But the hearts of all parents come out when they see their babies in such distress and discomfort. Babies can be seen crying in most cases. They also vomit when they get a bad taste of stomach acids in their mouth. But there are also cases where babies experience silent reflux.
Here are some facts that would put lots of parents at ease
One thing that is very important for parents to know is that acid reflux in small babies is normal and not a serious disease they should be worried about. There are many myth and misconceptions associated with acid reflux among babies confusing parents even more. Parents need to understand that their little babies are consuming only liquid diet all the time and it is not a big deal if a little bit of milk comes out of the mouth. Parents are better off if they consider it as just a spill and nothing more. Another point that parents need to understand is that little babies are lying on a bed most of the time. It is only natural for them to vomit once in a while because of disorientation. Finally, parents would do well to realize that the esophagi inside babies’ stomachs are much smaller than adults and it is no big issue if a little milk oozes out into their esophagus.
It is a common sight to see a little white substance coming out of the mouth of the babies, even when they are sleeping tight. This spill is referred to as spit and it is a proof of the reflux taking place inside the body of the baby. There are many questions in the midns of the parents when they see their baby in discomfort and distress because of this involuntary oozing out of milk. Here are all these questions and answers.
Q Is reflux a common problem in small babies?
A. It may sound surprising to many parents but the fact is that reflux takes place several times each day in the case of most of the small babies. Sometimes it takes place soon after a freed while it also takes place after 1-2 hours of a feed.
Q. What factors tend to increase reflux in babies?
A. Reflux occurs frequently if the baby is drinking too much of milk or drinking milk too fast. It also occurs when the baby swallows air in between milk. Breastfeeding babies that get distracted easily and tend to stop feeding every now and then are more prone to reflux. Babies show more reflux when they are teething as they swallow their own saliva during this period. Finally babies show reflux more when they are introduced to solid foods.
Q. When will my baby stop experiencing reflux?
A. Reflux is more distressing for the parents than babies. Your baby, like other babies, will stop spilling milk out of his mouth by the time he is 12 months of age. More than 96% of the babies become free of reflux by this age.
Q. How do I know if it is a serious problem?
A. In some babies, spiting of milk is because of an underlying medical condition where milk comes out along with stomach acids because of weak valve on the lower part of esophagus. This is a disease that afflicts only 1 in every 300 babies. If you are not sure, check up from a doctor will reveal if he is suffering from acid reflux or GERD or not.
Q. Is there any association between how a baby is fed and reflux?
A. Babies that are breastfed show reflux less frequently than babies that are also given formula besides breast milk.
Q. What can I do to prevent reflux in my baby?
A. There are many things that you can do to reduce the frequency of reflux in your baby.
1. Maintain proper position of your baby during feeding so that he does not swallow air
2. feed him similar quantities of milk every time
3. Keep the clothes of your baby loose and comfortable
4. Handle the baby gently and do not swing him in air
5. Do not smoke in the room of the baby as it can cause more frequent reflux
Q. Does thickening the feed reduce reflux?
A. There are many people who believe that by thickening the feed of a baby, it can be ensured that it remains inside the stomach. The fact is that only the quantity of milk that comes out of the mouth of the baby that becomes less while its frequency remains the same.