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breastfeeding reflux baby

(18 Posts)
SmokedSamN Sat 01-Jan-05 19:10:38

Is anyone else here exclusively breastfeeding a baby with reflux? After various problems and very low weight gain I've acknowledged that ds2 does have reflux . I'm determined to carry on breastfeeding him as everything I've read indicates that reflux symptoms are worse in formula fed babies and that introducing solids can also make things worse. Plus ds1 has food sensitivities so I will be introducing solids with caution in any case.

Despite my convictions, it would be good to know if anyone else is going through this because it can be very draining coping with the regular screaming and with the worry about his health, and what is more I have to field suggestions of baby rice every time I go to the hv/gps.

lockets Sat 01-Jan-05 19:13:20

Message withdrawn

Kristingle Sat 01-Jan-05 19:18:14

I'm still Bf my 7 months old Ds who has reflux

LIZS Sat 01-Jan-05 20:00:09

How old is ds2 ? I b'fed dd exclusively until 4 1/2 months then introduced solids very gradually and formula from around 6/7 months to which I was able to add thickener. She had slow weight gain (is still petite at 3) and vomited a fair bit but we survived and she really improved significantly at a year, with incremental progress in between (introducing lumps/textures was a real problem). Not clear what your primary concern is atm, but presumably you are keeping him upright, raising cot head etc. Good luck

SmokedSamN Sat 01-Jan-05 21:46:02

Hi there

ds2 will be 6 months old on Jan 11th. I suppose the main thing is just that I'm very tired with all the feeding and dealing with the screaming. He screams virtually every time I feed him, plus when he's tired and I'm trying to get him to sleep. When he was little he slept a lot in the night, but now he wakes quite often for feeds (usually every two hours from about 3 am). I don't begrudge him these feeds as I do want him to get as much milk as he can and I know that he can't have too much in his stomach because that makes the reflux bad. But it is tiring me out.

And I think it would be better for him if I carried him round in the sling lots, but it makes my knees ache and it's not terribly practical especially when dealing with ds1.

I thought that Christmas might be better because of having dp around but he only tried one feed of ebm and couldn't cope - he gave ds2 back to me even though I'd asked him not to.

I remember the baby whisperer book having some good advice but I lent it to a friend before having ds2 and she has now moved away. Might look for it in the library.

Sorry, this sounds like a big moan. I love ds2 dearly and in between the screaming he is a really happy chap. But I'm looking forward to less crying and faster weight gain.

lockets Sat 01-Jan-05 21:49:29

Message withdrawn

SmokedSamN Sun 02-Jan-05 23:00:15

Hi lockets, that's a lovely offer.

I'm in Kingston and will be able to meet up around SW London from Tuesday when ds1 goes back to nursery. CAT me if you like.

Kristingle, have you introduced solids yet and if so, when, and how did ds deal with them?

Liz, what was the problem with more lumpy mixtures and when did you introduce them?

Cruella Mon 03-Jan-05 17:27:14

Hi I can sympathise as DD2 suffered from reflux. I had breast fed DD1 until she was 12 months (and went straight to cow's milk) and was determined to do the same with DD2. I gave her gaviscon after every feed. She slowly but surely took it from a spoon and I started it with her when she was about 6 weeks old (I think!). The gaviscon certainly helped although it did not eradicate the problem. We had no reason to believe there would be any sensitivities to any foods so I introduced solids at around 16 weeks as I had with DD1 and again slowly but surely the reflux abated and she was fine by about 6 months. She continued to have the abiltiy to bring up a whole milk feed at times, but the pain wasn't there and that was all I cared about. Has anyone talke to you about Gaviscon? HTH

SmokedSamN Mon 03-Jan-05 20:53:33

Hi Cruella, good to hear your experience. We started ds2 on Gaviscon about 3-4 weeks ago and it seems to be making a difference but he does still scream in pain quite a bit.

I would be interested to know from all of you when the weight gain starts to get better as ds2 is so tiny and I don't feel it's right. He was close to the 50th percentile when he was born (bigger than his brother) and now he's only on the 3rd percentile. I know bf babies tend to have slower growth rates in the first year but I've seen the graphs and it's not such a big difference as this.

zebra Mon 03-Jan-05 20:59:57

SmokedSam -- you might want to try posing your questions to the breastfeeding UK-Ireland email list (send a message to
There's a GP on the list whose own son had reflux, so she can advise, if no one else can (and I imagine several can).

I knew a lady IRL who had breastfed her first 2 children, but didn't breastfeed the third because she "didn't have time", then started solids at 12 weeks to try to deal with the child's reflux, it just seemed to go from bad to worse after that, pretty soon the baby was barely taking formula. I felt so bad for him.

florenceuk Mon 03-Jan-05 21:54:30

My sister's baby had reflux, and in her case Zantac made a huge difference, whereas Gaviscon had very little effect. Has your GP referred you to a paediatrician at all? If your baby is not gaining weight then he should be referred to a specialist.

booschmoo Tue 04-Jan-05 12:51:34

Hi - sorry to hear about your little one. My dd has reflux, she spent weeks 3-8 sleeping in her rocker chair because she couldn't lie flat. I will try to be positive because you're probably very tired, but just to warn you, it's a long haul.(DD has just had her second b'day & we were up at five clearing up sick)
You don't say hold ds is, but I exclusively fed dd until 5 months & then started weaning her. I started with the lunch feed, not the teatime feed so the food would digest better. It didn't actually make things worse (good point) Infant Gaviscon worked for a while, then we tried Ritinol (sp) which didn't work at all, but worked for a friend's baby wonderfully. We also tried a medicine for adults which isn't licensed for babies (again no joy!) She started having formula at 8 months as I was pg with ds, didn't make a difference to her.
She improved slightly when she started standing/toddling. As I say, she's now two & we're still having the odd "relapse" & she does tend to be very very windy & upset tums are the norm.
One thing I did find useful was not waiting until she got hungry as (particularly with breastfed babies) their little mouths start going which creates bile & saliva causing more acid.
I hope that this isn't too disconcerting for you, but do try weaning if you feel bubba needs more food. (found with 2nd baby that my milk wasn't as good as with the first 'cos I was running round after no.1!) Also, get to see a specialist with this (yes, there are some!)
Good luck

maloosak Tue 04-Jan-05 15:50:02

Hi SmokedSamN - I don't have this problem with DS but I am just adding a note to sympathise and to suggest a very good website on breastfeeding which might help you. Do you know of ? It is a US based website and despite the silly name is very scientific. There is a section on BF and reflux.

I also BF my DS (now just over 6 months nad started solids on his 6 month birthday) and have had numerous problems since his birth, all of them overcome because of the advice found on this website as well as that of La Leche League. I also have a non-supportive HV and GP, neither know anything about BF which is extremely frustrating for a first-time mum like me desparately trying to give me DS "liquid gold" as long as possible. For some strange reason some HV's and GP's seem to think that baby rice and formula are the answer to everything. In fact BF is the cure for most baby problems. The NHS is entirely to blame for not training its staff properly on the enourmous advantages of BF. I hope you resolve the problem soon. Good luck

SmokedSamN Tue 04-Jan-05 21:21:18

Hi booschmoo and maloosak, thanks ever so much for your messages. Ds2 is nearly six months now. I guess I'm used to the 'long haul' as ds1 is still sensitive to cow's milk and soya at 2y9m although other children seem to grow out of these intolerances earlier. I just hoped it would be a little easier this time round! I shall try to feed him before he cries for a feed, although I have to admit that when he's asleep it's so tempting to just see how long he goes (especially if ds1 is around).

kellymom is a great site which has been very useful for persuading dp of my position as it actually has references rather than being a personal point of view.

booschmoo Wed 05-Jan-05 08:11:36

Just another thing that might be of interest. I was 11weeks pg with ds when I got to see my specialist, he said that reflux is hereditary (hernias etc being another indication of problems) I went to see a cranial osteopath whilst pg & in the first few days of his life, she has told me that he won't get reflux (he's now 6months & no sign - although he's constipated instead!!!)
I also took dd at 14 weeks & it did seem to ease it a little. I'm not really into all the alternative therapies, but it certainly improved our situation (she also managed to cure my prolapsed uterus!! sorry if too much info!!!)
Good luck

LIZS Wed 05-Jan-05 14:55:58

Sorry only been here sporadically for last few days due to dodgy internet connection.

We had problems when tried to introduce raw/grated lumps (grated pear, for example) and harder finger foods at around 8/9 months. Until then purees including roughly mashed and pureed foods had seemd largely ok. The more solid lumps and bite szed pieces seemed to make her gag readily so she would then vomit back most of her meal and become upset. It wasn't just an issue of chewing because by then she had several teeth. Paediatrician advised us to leave it for a while, and revert to mushier textured meals. She subsequently got a bout of sickness and diahorrhea(sp) and in fact she was almost a year by the time we realised that she had become naturally more interested in what we were eating and would then nibble from our meals.


SmokedSamN Fri 07-Jan-05 13:20:04

Thanks everyone for your messages. Time for a quick update here just before another feed...

Went to have ds2 weighed on Wednesday and he is moving up towards the 9th percentile . I have also been in touch with LLL and I wish I had realised before what they have to offer in terms of supporting breastfeeding. (I thought they were just an American version of the NCT.) I've also joined the list you advised, zebra, and I haven't posted yet - mostly because I spent too long composing my first message and got logged out, oops.

Despite the weight gain, I still feel ds2 is not right - he still cries a lot around feeding/sleeping times and is waking a lot in the night. I feel that he could do with some more medication but it seems that getting a referral to a paed requires more assertiveness than I have been showing at the GPs so far. I tend to be far too nice to them. May take dp along with me next time

His 6 month birthday is also coming up pretty soon and I have mixed feelings about introducing solids...

SmokedSamN Fri 07-Jan-05 13:22:20

booschmoo, I also have an appt with a cranial osteopath next week

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