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to be sick of the expression "reflux baby"?

(121 Posts)
jujumaman Thu 06-Nov-08 12:31:49

I know, I know some babies have serious reflux and if they do it must be a complete nightmare. If your baby has had diagnosed reflux you've all my sympathy

BUT these days everywhere I go I meet mums who say their babies are "reflux babies". I didn't think the condition was so common it affected something like 95 per cent of the baby population. I've met some angelic babies who occasionally squawk and their mother says "that's because she has reflux." What I think most mums mean is my baby is a screamy nightmare who won't settle and often pukes back a bit of feed. IE what most babies are. I don't think it means they have an actual medical condition but people seem to feel the need to find a label.

Fully expect a host of "how dare you, my baby had reflux etc etc" responses. As I say, I acknowledge some babies really do have reflux and it must be very hard. I'm just sceptical that it's as common as is now made out. And if my babies had had reflux (they didn't, they were just noisy and demanding) it would have annoyed me to have others jump on the bandwagon.

BaracktorianSqualor Thu 06-Nov-08 12:38:05

This will kick off. Just like similar threads on sn that have been done to death and always kick off.

Wigglesworth Thu 06-Nov-08 12:44:00

My DS had silent reflux (no vomiting) and it is a total nightmare. He screamed and thrashed during and straight after his feeds, screamed when he was lay down. We had him diagnosed and treated and he is better now but it was hell at the time. It is really distressing for both the parents and babies and if someone says their baby has reflux maybe you should be sympathetic, even if you think otherwise.
If anyone is going through this now you have my sympathies cos it makes the first few months of you LO's life miserable. They DO usually grow out of it. One thing we did which really helped was took him to see a cranial osteopath for children. He had a traumatic birth, long labour before finally being hawked out with forceps (poor guy) which took its toll on us both. The osteopathic treatment really made a difference, its not available on NHS and you do have to pay for it unfortunately, but its defo worth a try.

RubySlippers Thu 06-Nov-08 12:47:16

why does it bother you?

most babies DO have reflux because it is to do with the immaturity of their food pipe/stomach closing (hence why most babies posset)

a proportion of babies have reflux where they vomit after every feed and some have silent reflux which means they don't vomit

my DS had silent reflux and it was horrendous until it was diagnosed

jujumaman Thu 06-Nov-08 12:49:16

I'm always sympathetic to new mums because I think having a new baby is incredibly hard.

If a paediatrician could come on here and say actually, reflux is super common and we've only just discovered this I would happily accept that explanation. Maybe nearly all newborns have it to a greater or lesser extent?

RubySlippers Thu 06-Nov-08 12:50:59

juju - most babies DO have reflux because of the immaturity of their digestive system ...

padboz Thu 06-Nov-08 12:52:19

Mine would projectile vomit - literally about 6ft - across the room after every feed. It was awsome to witness - if I had ever managed to video it it would be a very popular youtube hit.

Umlellala Thu 06-Nov-08 12:53:31 treats children for donation only. My son is being treated for torticullis (sp?) there, but they have suggested that he may be less sicky after treatment. Will have to see!

I do wonder whether reflux is 'just' very common (i too have heard the phrase from just about everyone i know). But anyway, IMO, the point of labels like this is to find appropriate remedies/solutions. So if the solution for a reflux baby works for yours, then why not give it a go? Does it matter whether they have or haven't got 'official' reflux?

Wigglesworth Thu 06-Nov-08 12:53:54

lol padboz, bet your carpet smells nice!

jujumaman Thu 06-Nov-08 12:56:40

There we go ruby!

That was the answer I wanted ... but does that mean most babies should be on reflux medication? Would new mothers' lives be happier as a result?

padboz Thu 06-Nov-08 12:57:18

wiggle - ha ha - re the carpet - I once took a day off work when she was about 8 months old to get some sleep. I never got to bed - I looked at the living room carpet and was so horrified by it that I moved two sofas, a coffee table and a 40 inch CRT television, all our books and the enormous bookcase in which they sat by myself into the dining room and then ripped up the carpet and threw it out of the window.

I made DP move it all back grin

CatIsSleepy Thu 06-Nov-08 12:58:13

well some people are happier when they've got a label aren't they...

and some babies do have reflux!

does it really matter?

i always said dd was a pukey/sicky or whatever as she appeared to vom up most of her feeds most of the time...don;t think i ever called it reflux though...and don't think any other mums i met sad theirs had reflux either actually

dd was by far the pukiest baby i met <proud emoticon>

RubySlippers Thu 06-Nov-08 12:59:46

what was the answer?!

Wigglesworth Thu 06-Nov-08 13:04:50

There is a difference between pukey baby and reflux baby. Reflux is acid coming up into the throat and either coming out as vomit mixed with feed or in my DS case not producing anything and going straight back down. I do think it is more common than people think. Just like a lot of people have allergies these days, I don't think it's made up, its just that medical science has improved so much that these conditions are more easily diagnosed.
At least the parents of these LO's care enough to seek help for their them, which is not a bad thing.

CatIsSleepy Thu 06-Nov-08 13:21:53

ah yes dd was a happy puker...i guess that's the acid therefore it wasn't painful...

jujumaman Thu 06-Nov-08 13:38:11

that most babies DO have reflux

BalloonSlayer Thu 06-Nov-08 13:42:10

jujumaman, I also thought reflux was very rare, but possibly because I read that it was in a book by She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. blush

jujumaman Thu 06-Nov-08 13:49:08


Now you mention it, I may have first picked up this piece of medical knowledge there tooblush I remember being convinced my dd1 had it for an evening before acknowledging that she was just a little shouty pants.

But the unmentionable one is always right,isn't she? wink I rest my case! blush

Elffriend Thu 06-Nov-08 13:58:59

Juju - most babies do have reflux to some degree - immaturity of their systems etc. However this can range from the "happy chucker" (most babies do posset a little milk) through to a serious and potentially life-theatening condition.

Babies who have a more serious medical conditon (GERD) ARE more common than people used to relise as the condition often came under the general catch-all of colic. If the reflux was silent (i.e. not necessarily being sick) then it often went undiagnosed. The thought now is that many cases of so-called colic are actually undiagnosed reflux.

If you are meeting mums you will generally know those ones whose babies have reflux - they are the ones with a haunted glassy expression who often break down in tears before you and are so tired they can no longer rememer their own names...

Wigglesworth Thu 06-Nov-08 14:07:37

Ahh I remember that feeling well Elffriend. I broke down in tears everytime the midwife and health visitor came round to see me.

lalalonglegs Thu 06-Nov-08 14:25:24

Reflux is not a question of squawking and puking a bit. It is horrendous to deal with: it is utterly demoralising to have an otherwise happy baby who is constantly getting attacks of heartburn as stomach acid enters his throat. Most refuse to sleep lying down which is exhausting for the mother and the baby's unpredictability - not to mention messiness - means that it is hard to find anyone willing to look after him and give the parents a break.

All three of my children have had reflux - dd2 is just growing out of it at seven months (although to prove her point she has just vomited all over my lap and sofa) - and when my oldest child was born, almost five years ago, no one, not even my GP and certainly not midwives and HVs seemed to know about it - I got the usual stuff about her being "greedy" even though she wasn't putting on weight hmm.

I don't know why diagnosis has gone up but if it helps those parents whose babies have it and perhaps leads to more effective treatment then I don't have a problem with it. If you think people are over-using the condition, just ignore them and be extremely thankful that you and your own dc have escaped the misery of it.

Wigglesworth Thu 06-Nov-08 14:37:33

Agree legs, it is horrendous. Did you have medicine for DC's, I had gaviscon for DS but it was crap. The cranial osteopathy really helped though, but people are sceptical including my Health visitor. We tried it cos we were so desperate for help but it really did work and DS was so relaxed after a treatment session.

Elffriend Thu 06-Nov-08 14:48:26

Speaking from personal experience, diagnosis has gone up -as long as you can get to the right people. My GP was 100% dismissive. I insisted on a referral - which I did privately to speed up the process and then got some progress made. A good friend of mine was similarly dismissed with her DD until said DD stopped breathing and had to be rushed to A&E.

So to the OP...yes, it is more common than you think. But if people are applying it inapproriately than I would have just been hmm - too far into my own well of misery to care otherwise!

feelingbitbetter Thu 06-Nov-08 14:49:58

DS has always been a bit of a puker after a feed, but always fed without trouble (and very quickly, greedy boy). I accepted it as normal as he wasn't distressed and like the OP, got a bit annoyed with people who over-use the term when baby is just posseting. Especially as now DS does have reflux. The last 2 weeks have been so hard. 2 hours to take a feed screaming and posturing all the time, wouldn't lie down after, had to be held upright or walked around. Horrible, horrible, horrible to see him so distressed. The crunch came on Tuesday when I refused to change my T-shirt when he puked on me, knowing that it would happen again and again. Thankfully, he seems to be one of the lucky ones and Gaviscon sachets have worked a treat, still a bit of a struggle but no sickness or crying grin.
Diagnosed reflux is one thing and if the number of diagnosed cases have gone up, then that's a good thing, coz it's bloody miserable for baby and parents. It's the Mums who self diagnose and proclaim reflux to explain a normal cry and possett, who get my goat.

RubySlippers Thu 06-Nov-08 14:50:51

> If you are meeting mums you will generally know those ones whose babies have reflux - they are the ones with a haunted glassy expression who often break down in tears before you and are so tired they can no longer rememer their own names...

Elf - that WAS me

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