Reflux in prem baby - any tips?

(6 Posts)
atrcts Fri 21-Jun-13 00:44:45

I gave birth to my second son 2 weeks ago. He was 35 weeks.

The last few days he's seemed in agony when laid down (knees drawn up, red face, crying, squirming, hiccups and vomiting) so I've been holding him upright on me.

The problem is this means he, as well as I, get very little sleep 24/7.

Today we started gaviscon but because I am breastfeeding I have to give it separately from the feed. The instructions are to give AFTER the feed but he spits it out. The only way to ensure he takes it is before a feed when he is still hungry.

I've raised the cot end to >30 degrees tilt, tried a baby rocker, used the car seat. I'm worried about using the car seat though as it restricts his airway and he slumps down. Besides, it doesn't always work.

When I feed I have to sit in a chair as I fall sleep with him on me if I try to lie in bed hmm

I am so exhausted I was wondering what others' experiences might be with reflux in prem babies and how people get through!

Poppet45 Fri 21-Jun-13 11:21:59

Its a common prem thing and gaviscon is rubbish for bf babies. Ranitadine and omeprazole were the only thing to help us as well as me going soy and dairy free as dd has cmpi. Its so hard but the right meds and diet can take a good 80% away.

MiniPopsMum2012 Fri 21-Jun-13 22:26:06

COngrats on your baby boy :-) My LO was born at 30+1 and had terrible reflux right from the beginning. He was wriggling around in agony and couldn't straighten out at all, in a lot of discomfort.

We started on the gavison, which did nothing, then went on Ranitidine, which he was sensitive too (gave him stomach cramps), so we ended up on Omeprezole and Domperidon which had some effect.

It was so bad we went to paediatric A&E to get him sorted, as GP ran out of ideas, it was them who prescribed the omeprezole and domperidon.

We raised the cot, bought a wedge for the carry cot, then bought a new pushchair (sola, as seat reclines enough for newborn, but not entirely flat), and I kept him upright for 30 minutes after each feed, which really, really helped. Burp as much as possible during feed, but rub don't pat. Car seat or rocker didn't work here, favourite position was over the shoulder.

Do you have a sling or carrier? I found when he was particularly bad I could stick him in the sling so he'd be upright for longer, and get on with stuff while he slept.

Use babygrows and avoid putting anything with a waistband on that could cause pressure.

What's your dr like? Ours referred us for an ultrasound to check how bad the reflux is.

In our case it got better when we started weaning (which neo natal consultants told us to do at 5 months actual); And once he could be propped up in a nest that really helped, too.

You have my full sympathy though as I know only to well the sleepless nights at the beginning, and it's so awful not being able to do much. (sorry for the essay!!)

atrcts Sat 22-Jun-13 01:06:32

Thanks both for your replies. Interesting that Gaviscon didn't work for you - it's making no difference here too. I think first thing Monday morning I will need to ask for something else stronger.

MiniPopsMum2012 Sat 22-Jun-13 07:06:11

I think they always start them on Gaviscon because it's the easiest option, but my LO had a feeding tube for 6 weeks, so I think that had some sort of reason for his reflux being so bad. The ranitidine makes the stomach acid less acidic, but the omeprezole stops the stomach producing acid, so if the reflux is really bad it gives the insides a chance to heal. I've read that domperidon helps strengthen the muscle, and it also makes the milk be digested quicker, so there's less hanging around int he stomach to reflux. Some drs dont like to prescribe the omeprezole, but they gave it to us at the hospital.

if at any point they do suggest the omeprezole, ask for the tables that dissolve in water rather than the ones they dissolve in sodium bicarbonate, the latter tastes vile and was a nightmare getting LO to take it.

Good luck, let us know how you get on.

ps: further down the line, if you try your LO with a bottle you could try expressing a little bm and adding the gaviscon to that (if still on it)

atrcts Sat 22-Jun-13 14:14:00

Funnily enough we had a better night last night. I googled prem babies reflux and followed the tips such as: swaddling, upright feeds, keeping upright for 30-45 min post feed, dummy to reduce acid (extra saliva), laying on left side, etc.

Not sure if I was a combination of all of these but he settled a bit better and enabled us to actually get 2hrs sleep at a time, compared to the previous nights of 2.5 hours ALL night long, it was a God-send!

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