reflux and sleep apnea? please help...

(29 Posts)
BlahBlahYackedySmackedy Wed 09-Apr-14 10:33:40

DD2 is 6wks. For just over a week she has had raspy, snuffly breathing which gets a lot worse at night. She spits up,mostly when on her back (when sleeping or changing nappy) but sometimes when she is being winded. Only occasionally has this caused her to scream n usually is contented. I have noticed that she swallows and grimaces quite a bit, but again there is rarely crying. She is not happy being put down on her back until she is in deep sleep. When she is in deep sleep her breathing sounds fine.
She will wake up however with her heavy breathing and start writhing around the cot. It is at this time she sometimes stops breathing. This is usually for around 3-5secs so not a long time, but it feels like ages in the night when I am listening. Her breathing really sounds like she is struggling to get air in, like she has a really blocked nose. Everytime we go to the gp she is in her car seat and her breathing is regular. Typical.
She has been prescribed infant gaviscon and we used it for the first time yesterday. I am exclusively bf and have found the preparation time consuming, and DD2 hates it. She screams and I worry she will choke on it. It has so far had no effect other than making her poo thicker. In fact she seems to be bringing up more milk than before. Her breathing has remained the same.

Has anybody else experienced this and how was it treated? I am heartbroken listening to her at night and worry so much. I'm on the verge of going to hospital with her as i am dreading another night.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

CustardFromATin Mon 14-Apr-14 13:00:02

Your dd sounds absolutely like a newborn... They do posset, snuffle and have brief apnoeas at this age (although if it is over 10 seconds or there is any turning blue this is absolutely not normal and needs to be checked).

If it is reflux then the diet may help, but if you're not seeing major discomfort, I'd really hold off on the dairy and soy elimination - as the pp said, it is very labour intensive for you and risks you not taking in enough calories and having to do lots of extra shopping or cooking at a time when you are already exhausted and hungry!

With DS1 we saw similar symptoms and jumped to the special diets and all sorts of things, but actually he was fine and grew out of it - but in the meantime we'd had so much extra stress and my milk practically dried up with dropping weight on a strict elimination diet. Ds2 then really did have bad reflux and laryngomalacia and it was very clear from very early on, with difficulty feeding, painful spasms afterwards, and really long apnoeas (up to 10 seconds and turning 'dusky').

Of course most cases are less extreme, and if you have major concerns or things persist you are absolutely the best judge to decide whether to pursue with doctors, first time mum or not! - but do remember that many of us posting on here have experiences outside of the average, and may overdiagnose some of these conditions.

Do you have a friend or relative with recent newborn experience, or a decent HV. who could listen in to a feed and nap and give a second opinion?

Hope things improve soon.

Superworm Fri 11-Apr-14 22:32:14

The allergies were diagnosed via a process of elimination. I was dairy/ soy free for three months, then reintroduced and got a reaction.

There are two types of allergies - immediate which the rash, swelling, hives type and delayed. Delayed are gastrointestinal and produce an immune response that effect mucous linings. DS has delayed type.

It's very hard in the beginning as dairy & soy are in everything. It's definitely not for everyone. It was a no brainer for me as DS nearly died.

BlahBlahYackedySmackedy Fri 11-Apr-14 21:48:41

Thank you for all the replies it is really appreciated. Well I went to the doctors yesterday and was made to feel like a neurotic mother. Was told to give the gaviscon longer. I'm not convinced its doing anything though. Her breathing is just the same and I cannot sleep. Ivr recorded her too but it is not clear. She is clearly struggling though. I havr been thinking of putting her on her side to sleep but have safe sleeping sp strongly drilled in I'm worried about that in case she goes onto her front. I really am losing it over this!

Naty1 the lip tie is interesting. Judt googled its and I think she may have this. In fact I think DD1 did and she tore hers falling over. I will ask the HV on monday. Not too sure on the posterior tongue tie though. Could this affect the reflux?

Superworm how were the allergies diagnosed? I looked into this due to a post above and the symptoms are very similar to reflux. She does however have a spotty kind of rash on her neck and upper chest. There are also some on her face and head though not as bad and her skin on her cheeks is dry. I decided to just avoid dairy for now but am actually finding it quite tough! I never realised before how many foods have dairy in.

I thought about adenoids as DH had his removed as a child. If all else fails I will look into this.

Superworm Fri 11-Apr-14 00:42:03

Car seat - not cat seat

An in case i wasn't clear, the reflux was caused by the allergies. He was also very mucousy which everyone kept saying was normal but it wasn't.

Superworm Fri 11-Apr-14 00:39:12

DS has silent reflux and had an episodes of apnea from it, first one was at six weeks. He was a pretty settled newborn so it wasn't obvious. This fact sheet is useful.

We ended up in A&E and they referred us to a gastro pead that diagnosed dairy and soy allergies. I eliminate both completely from my diet as I'm BFing. You need to be really strict with it and it takes 2-3 weeks to see improvements. Kellymom has some good info on allergies.

I completely understand the stress. DS pretty much spent the first few months on his life upright as I was
paranoid! Keeping him upright for 30 mins after each feed helped a lot. The cat seat squashes their tummies so can make reflux worse. Slings are good it you have one.

ipswichwitch Thu 10-Apr-14 22:38:52

Apologies for double post - stupid iphone

ipswichwitch Thu 10-Apr-14 22:38:04

Ds1 was ebf and had horrendous reflux. It did improve with time (nothing else seemed to work) - could never put him down after a feed, always had to wait til he was in a deep sleep like your LO. We had the end of his cot propped up too.

He had always been a very noisy breather and snored from birth but we kept getting told it was fine. Then from when he turned 2 he developed sleep apnoea (he may have had this earlier but we hadn't witnessed it). He is now 2.6 and it is getting worse - waking hysterical many times a night when his breathing stops. He's getting tired and irritable through the day, and had numerous episodes of tonsillitis. He is now waiting for a date to have his tonsils and adenoids removed as they are enlarged and causing airway obstruction and the apnoea. It may be worth you getting your LO checked for the same as the surgeon expects 100% improvement in DS after surgery (hopefully him sleeping through for once!)

ipswichwitch Thu 10-Apr-14 22:35:58

Ds1 was ebf and had horrendous reflux. It did improve with time (nothing else seemed to work) - could never put him down after a feed, always had to wait til he was in a deep sleep like your LO. We had the end of his cot propped up too.

He had always been a very noisy breather and snored from birth but we kept getting told it was fine. Then from when he turned 2 he developed sleep apnoea (he may have had this earlier but we hadn't witnessed it). He is now 2.6 and it is getting worse - waking hysterical many times a night when his breathing stops. He's getting tired and irritable through the day, and had numerous episodes of tonsillitis. He is now waiting for a date to have his tonsils and adenoids removed as they are enlarged and causing airway obstruction and the apnoea. It may be worth you getting your LO checked for the same as the surgeon expects 100% improvement in DS after surgery (hopefully him sleeping through for once!)

MooseBeTimeForSpring Thu 10-Apr-14 22:29:44

I was told it takes 14 days for dairy to completely leave your system, so it will be a few days before you start to see any results

naty1 Thu 10-Apr-14 22:25:18

Im not sure if mine had tongue tie she was never checked but im quite sure she has a lip tie and people say that means she would have a posterior tongue tie.
The lip tie is probably easier to see.

BlahBlahYackedySmackedy Thu 10-Apr-14 10:39:32

I have been giving it during feeds, particularly at night. I will feed her a bit to take the edge off the hunger and preparing gaviscon and then feed after to either calm her down or feed her to sleep at night. I thought as it ìs meant to thicken the milk the benefit would have been quite quick. I bet the doctor is sick of me! Since taking gaviscon she is bring up more milk rather than the curdled watery stuff, but breathing is still terrible.

hotcrosshunny Thu 10-Apr-14 08:47:31

I gave the gaviscon a week. I struggled with it though and gave it before a feed.

If TT has been ruled out then that is good.

BlahBlahYackedySmackedy Thu 10-Apr-14 08:35:18

I've been told she hasn't got tongue tie though..?
How long should I give gaviscon? I've realised I was only last in on tues!

hotcrosshunny Thu 10-Apr-14 08:25:42

I'm sure Zulieka that the three replies were a mistake.

OP go back to the docs. They usually prescribe gaviscon first anyway which they've done before ranitidine. But I would strongly recommend seeing a BF counsellor to check for tongue tie as it could be that is contributing. My dd had both tongue tie and silent reflux and fixing one didn't fix the other iyswim? So wasn't until we fixed both did we get anywhere.

BlahBlahYackedySmackedy Thu 10-Apr-14 08:18:04

ZuleikaD it says reflux in the title and that gaviscon has been prescribed. I thought people would realise.

Hotcrossbunny it is very scary and I am losing sleep through it which isnt helping my frame of mind. I think I will go back to the doctors today if I can get an appointment.

ZuleikaD Thu 10-Apr-14 08:08:39

Yes, Blah I did read your original post, and your subsequent posts - if you read them you'll see that nowhere did you mention reflux had been diagnosed by an HCP. You really don't need to reply three times.

If it's not birth mucous then it might just be a cold.

hotcrosshunny Thu 10-Apr-14 07:48:31

Its not normal snuffling when baby stops breathing briefly. That used to scare the shit out of me when ds did it. I remember prodding him quite hard once before he started again!

The ranitidine worked almost immediately but I preferred to keep on his left side anyway.

I would also have her checked for tongue tie.

BlahBlahYackedySmackedy Thu 10-Apr-14 07:14:16

Did you read my op at all? They have said it is reflux. In terms of birth mucus she is now 7wk old today and this has only started recently, not since being born. She is sleeping very little and writhing about, so she is uncomfortable. But thanks.

BlahBlahYackedySmackedy Thu 10-Apr-14 07:14:09

Did you read my op at all? They have said it is reflux. In terms of birth mucus she is now 7wk old today and this has only started recently, not since being born. She is sleeping very little and writhing about, so she is uncomfortable. But thanks.

BlahBlahYackedySmackedy Thu 10-Apr-14 07:13:53

Did you read my op at all? They have said it is reflux. In terms of birth mucus she is now 7wk old today and this has only started recently, not since being born. She is sleeping very little and writhing about, so she is uncomfortable. But thanks.

ZuleikaD Thu 10-Apr-14 06:32:23

Don't worry about the snuffling - it's just birth mucus and it takes them a few weeks to clear their noses. And don't worry about the posseting either - being sick is a perfectly normal condition for babies!

Seriously - your baby doesn't sound like she has any conditions at all - she just sounds like a normal baby! I know it can be very worrying when they sound like they're uncomfortable, but honestly nothing you have described sounds like anything you need to go to the GP about (as you say, you've already been and both the GP and the HV are saying she's perfectly fine).

BlahBlahYackedySmackedy Thu 10-Apr-14 01:57:47

We've got books under the head end of her cot.
Its definitely not tongue tie as she was checked for this as a newborn in hospital n the HV has recently looked. Looks like I'm seeing the GP for ranitidine. How long did it take before you noticed improvement in breathing?

hotcrosshunny Wed 09-Apr-14 21:47:01

Yes it did help breathing. When on his left side (not right) the oesophagus (pipe from stomach to throat) is at an angle so it cannot easily come up (or something like that!). You can also tilt the cot by sticking books or bricks under the legs at the head end.

We also had ranitidine as well.

Dairy takes about two weeks to completely clear.

Have you ruled out tongue tie as can cause similar symptoms to silent reflux due to excess air being swallowed.

BlahBlahYackedySmackedy Wed 09-Apr-14 21:44:04

Thanks for the input. We have an angelcare monitor but I have read they are not that effective at safeguarding SIDS. But I'm glad we have it. I am definitely worrying now I know reflux/breathing difficulties increase the chance of SIDS.
been over 24hr of no dairy (I will also begin restricting soya) but there appears to he no improvement. It is at night when things are worse and so I'll see how we go tonight. I have looked into ranitidine and will speak to the doctor if no improvement tonight. Did it help with your DDs breathing and how long did it take to work?
I have thought of putting her on her side. Did this improve things including breathing? I am considering giving a dummy but not sure if that will help or make her breathing worse.

Poppet45 Wed 09-Apr-14 21:00:36

Going dairy (and soya as a third react to it too) is a good idea but u must be strict. Gaviscon is useless if yr bfing. You need ranitadine at least and preferably omeprazole at a dose of at least 3mgs per kg. Reflux doescause breathing issues and can double risk of sids. An angelcare style movement monitor kept me sane as dd's breathing was also affected by her reflux - she went floppy and breath held afew times due to the acid. If your GP doesnt get it I'd contemplate OoH or A&E this weekend. Six weeks or so is a classic time for cmpi (now called delayed milk allergy) symptoms to appear.

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