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Shite afternoon - covered in sick

(17 Posts)
Polaris Sun 17-Aug-08 16:28:12

DS1 is 3.5 months and has been diagnosed with reflux. We've just started with Gaviscon in the last two days the trouble is I don't really know how to administer it properly.

I've tried expressing breast milk, but it seems most of the gaviscon is left around the side of the bottle at the end of the feed. So I tried BFing him and then giving it to him afterwards on a spoon, but we ended up in a right mess and both of us really upset.

He's still throwing up an AWFUL lot - every time I look at him he's got it either pouring out of his nose and mouth or he's crying in pain trying to bring up the depths of his stomach. He's been in four vests in three hours. When the crying got too much this afternoon I left him alone for ten minutes as I was going crazy with it. Then he went quiet so I checked on him. He was still, staring up at his mobile with sick all over his face.

I think I've coped really well with this since he was born and have not let it get in the way of enjoying our wonderful son, but things are still really bad and I can see no end to it.

How long will it take for the Gaviscon to work? Will he ever stop being sick long enough to keep it down so that it can start working? Advice would be great...

BouncingTurtle Sun 17-Aug-08 16:36:29

You poor thing, sounds like you are having a tough time of it!
Perhaps it might be an idea to try giving the gaviscon with a syringe? Would that help?
Sorry I don't have any other advice, but hopefully someone else will!

likessleep Sun 17-Aug-08 16:53:24

Hi Polaris,
My DS is nearly 10 months and grew out of his reflux about a month ago - so it doesn't last forever (which I know is difficult to consider when you are in the middle of it).
Definitely use a syringe, they are so much easier. We mixed ours in the lid of one of his bottles (with slightly warm water, i.e. just boiled but cooled as it tends to dissolve better than cold). The syringe it into his cheeks, as we were told they can't spit it out that way and it worked for us.
It can be absolutely horrible and never ending, but keep going with the Gaviscon. For us, it helped with my son not throwing up as much, but to be honest, the pain didn't stop for our DS until he was on Ranitidine. I think Gaviscon is given as the first treatment. But if you find it isn't working, then keep going back to the Doctor as there are other meds. I think when it is causing so much pain, which is evident with your son, then some form of antacid is a godsend.
Also have you been holding upright after feeds, propping up the cot (you can get wedge pillows) and making sure he is really winded?
I also gave up dairy, as I think that contributed to my sons windiness?
I hope things become more manageable for you. I think it is so hard to accept, but once you've got his pain under control, then the sickness just becomes an inconvenience.
Take care.

likessleep Sun 17-Aug-08 16:54:48

ps the Gaviscon thickens milk immediately, so it should work immediately. I didn't want to give it with every feed (and our DS was having more than 6 feeds a day anyway), so I gave it to ours at his sickliest times.

jellyrolly Sun 17-Aug-08 16:55:32

Sorry you are having such a tough time of it. I agree with BouncingTurtle, try a syringe, if you don't have one you can buy them in the chemist.

Does he sleep in a sling? Being upright might help, maybe you could try and squirt some in before a sleep in the sling?

It WILL get better and you will be rewarded with an easier fantastic and brilliant baby/toddler/child - you've had your horrid bits! Well done for coping so well.

likessleep Sun 17-Aug-08 17:01:03

Totally agree with jellyrolly, our DS had colic and reflux and now at 10 months, he smiles from morning to night (well slight exageration, but he is certainly a happy boy now).

Polaris Sun 17-Aug-08 17:16:27

Hi likesleep,

I've not prepared myself for it to go on for nine months. I thought it would be over by about four! I think it's more of a serious condition than I've been giving it credit for to be honest. I'm going back to the doctors in two weeks to discuss further.

I'll also take on your other tips, thanks very much for responding.


Polaris Sun 17-Aug-08 17:18:37

I suppose a baby is so relieved to have rid of it after being in pain all of its young life that it would be happy once it's gone!

I'll grab a syringe tomorrow.

likessleep Sun 17-Aug-08 17:44:20

It may well improve by 9 months. But, I was told by HV/Drs that it would improve with weaning and felt crap/pissed off when solids at 5 1/2 months didn't help. So it may improve at any time, but just don't pin your hopes on weaning. But once you've got his pain better managed, it will be so much easier and better. Mine went from being woken up with pain, to being a 'happy chucker' on Ranitidine. The sick I could cope with much better. It gets easier, I promise and you will find coping mechanisms. It totally pissed me off when HVs said "some babies are just more sickly" when it was seeing my son in pain which I wanted sorted.
You could keep a diary of when sick/how much - it might help to show patterns.
Hugs to you, but the gaviscon should be far easier with a syringe (and this gets easier over time, even my ds got excited when he saw gaviscon as it became part of feeding, i found giving it before a feed was better as he was hungry then).
Things will get easier smile

likessleep Sun 17-Aug-08 17:48:15

ps ask for a couple of syringes with your prescription of gaviscon (boots charged me for them without prescription!).

also they get gunked up after a while (even with sterilising), so it helps to have a couple spare

Polaris Sun 17-Aug-08 20:09:54

Thank you likessleep.

I was going to ask you when you gave your son the Gaviscon. I was told by the doctor to express and give it through a bottle, but when I read the back it said to give it separately after. Like you say he doesn't want it after and is often cat napping (before the sick starts) so I suppose it doesn't do any harm to give it before does it?

The HV's were like that with me too; just saying that some babies are so sick it can seem more serious than it is, but I'd like to invite them around to my house to witness the sheer amount my DS brings up. It's hearbreaking when people look at him and coo over him and then back off in disgust when they get an eyeful of vomit!

At least he's putting on weight so no issues there.

likessleep Sun 17-Aug-08 21:02:17

Hi. I actually asked my Doctor about when to give, as I remember, she prescribed it before a feed and the pack says after.

My doc says it doesn't really matter, that as long as it is taken close to feedtimes, then it will thicken the milk in the tummy. I think expressing and giving through the bottle is a huge palava to be honest and not very convenient either! If you find it easier to give before, then do, I'd give it immediately before feeding.

Then try to keep your son upright (i.e. I guess you are holding him so he faces over your shoulder?) for as long as you can afterwards (min 20 mins). It is a faff, especially in the night, but it really helps. If you think that the valve to the tummy that isn't yet mature is open, so it is a bit like laying down a bottle with the lid off. My DS only fell asleep in the upright position in the first couple of months, he cried as soon as we tried putting him down (where the acid kept going back up, which we didn't appreciate at the time). He used to fall asleep sat upright over our shoulder, then wake in distressed crying from the pain. It broke my heart and no-one can truly understand what it is like unless you have a baby with reflux yourself. But it does get better, but I think it is one of those things that you have to push for with the doctors (particularly if your baby is gaining weight well, which my DS also did).

In many ways, it is good that they don't intervene too much - the valve maturing is a natural process, so there isn't anything 'wrong'.

Don't worry about people cooing over him and then backing off. The people who really matter won't do this. I used to just warn people that he is a 'sicky' baby and if they bounced him, I'd say 'it's at your risk' jokingly. One woman from antenatal said to me 'oh that must be annoying, I haven't even used a muslin since i gave up breastfeeding in a really smug way'. There was me with like a stash of 6-8 muslins to the side of me gritting my teeth!!

I promise you, it will get easier, you will begin to predict those noises that happen just before being sick, you will become expert at catching it at the right time!

I hope the Gaviscon works. It is a faff, but if it works for you, then it is worth it. Good luck wink

baltimore97 Sun 17-Aug-08 21:09:48

DD1 had relatively mild reflux and was also on Gaviscon (which worked for us). I would store small amounts of breastmilk (5mls)in the fridge in those Avent pots, then add the Gaviscon and mix at the end of the feed, draw it into a syringe and squirt it into her cheek. Usually, she was sleepy at this point so it would go down very easily with no fuss.

The Gaviscon worked after a few days, so if you see no improvement in a week, go back to the doctor.

barnsleybelle Sun 17-Aug-08 21:24:25

My dd had relux which she has now grown out of thank goodness.

We used gaviscon mixed into her bottles which worked well for a while but then stopped working, which is very common with gaviscon. Dd was started on ranitidine but this was for the painful acid only and did not help the vomiting.

After a looot of research i discovered carobel which is s thickener made by cow 7 gate. You can order and buy it from certain chemists but my paed prescribed it for me once i used it for a week and it worked.

It really did change my life. I did have to get bigger teats as she nearly sucked herself inside out to start with. The vomting decreased drastically...

MERLYPUSS Sun 17-Aug-08 22:06:15

Gaviscon in bottles never worked for my FF DS. It gave him major constipation. He has now turned 6 mths and is cured.
DO you use a dummy? He has to take piriton for excema and spits that out so we syringe it in his mouth and plug him with a dummy and the sucking action means it gets swallowed. Just and idea?

MatNanPlus Sun 17-Aug-08 23:06:12

A dummy can help as more saliva is produced - think us chewing gum - so helping to flush the tube to reduce pain / dilute the acid.

Feeding and having in a boucer chair with cushions behind to have it at it's most upright can help and i cared for a baby who slept this way day and night, we made shoulder straps just to be extra cautious and used a travel sleeping bag so could thread crotch strap thru to fasten.

We also didn't pat or rub her to burp her as both had messy effects, she seemed to bring up the wind when upright in her own time.

Gav wasn't effective for her but Carobel was.

She had first moved from top brand to HIPP which made a small difference and the carobel made a huge difference.

She also had paracetamol suppositories for the bad times when the vomitting got out of hand and the pain was clear and it did help her relax so reduce the re vomitting as she wasn't writhing around.

TreadmillMom Mon 18-Aug-08 14:55:59

DS2 had reflux but fortunately grew out of it by 10 mths.
Gaviscon I found made no difference what so ever and I tantrumed to my GP that I wanted a hospital referral.
He was prescribed 2 drugs at the hospital (can't remember thier names now) but on the 5th day he slept for 5 hours, I could not believe the transformation.
I haven't read all the posts so forgive me if I am repeating them but after every feed keep him upright for approx 10 mins to help the feed go down.
Do not lie him flat to sleep either prop up the cot legs or the mattress so he is at a angle of approx 30 degrees, then a pillow under his bottom/thights so he doesn't slide down the mattress in a crumpled heap.
I would also recommend a Baby Osteopath.

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