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exclusively breastfeeding a reflux baby

(42 Posts)
becs1973 Fri 05-Sep-08 14:24:08

Hi everyone

My little boy has just (finally) been diagnosed with reflux at 12 weeks old. We've been prescribed infant gaviscon which I've heard mixed reports of, but I guess it's a start. Anyway, just wondering if anyone else has breastfed a baby and had to give Gaviscon. It says to give it after a feed, but by that point he doesn't want to take any more food down as it hurts him, so I'm wondering if it would work giving it before a feed? If anyone has any experience of this or any other advice I'd be really grateful!


RubySlippers Fri 05-Sep-08 14:25:48

i am sure i gave before a feed

<<was a long time ago>>

likessleep Fri 05-Sep-08 14:45:37

doctor told me it can be before or after. main thing is that it mixes with milk. i gave before bfeed, cos it was easier.
syringe it into babys cheek, that way they are less able to spit it out.
i hope it works for your lo.

CantSleepWontSleep Fri 05-Sep-08 14:47:48

Yep. I gave before a feed.

LiegeAndLief Fri 05-Sep-08 14:51:57

I have given before a feed. Also given half before and half after, or half before and half halfway through. Think I mainly ended up giving before, especially in the night as I really didn't want to wake ds up whne he fell asleep at the breast!

hobnob57 Fri 05-Sep-08 14:52:10

All the very best to you becs - BF refluxers can be very trying!

We weren't given gaviscon initially but peptac which did the same job but had antacid in it too. That was before feeds, so I assume gaviscon is too. As far as I know it justs floats on the milk in the tummy and gives a layer of protection. I think before a feed is fine.

becs1973 Fri 05-Sep-08 15:31:44

Cool, thanks everyone, will attempt to give it before a feed. I hope it works, am at the end of my tether with feeding, I look on in envy as other women breastfeed and their babies look so calm and contented, rather than screaming and bobbing on and off, back arching etc etc.
Syringe is a good idea, I tried with a spoon this morning for the first attempt , so now both mine and his clothes are covered not only with regurgitated milk but gaviscon as well!

RubySlippers Fri 05-Sep-08 15:32:40

have you tried the rugby ball hold?

was recommended this to try to get DS to feed a little more easily (he had silent reflux)

likessleep Fri 05-Sep-08 15:43:45

also, smaller but more frequent feeds can sometimes help? less for their tummies to deal with at once. although this makes gaviscon more difficult ...
also, not to put a dampner on things, but your LO may experience constipation with the gavsicon, they tend to go hand in hand a bit.

PinkTulips Fri 05-Sep-08 15:45:24

no help with the gaviscon as my poor dd never got it due to docs dismissing it as 'just a bit of reflux' and me being too much of a naive first time mom to question them. it was only when ds came along that i realised that puking up half or more of every feed is not run of the mill baby spit up and i should have argued with them.

i found feeding dd with her propped a little upright as opposed to holding her horizontal like your supposed to helped.

also, the only way we got any sleep was for me to co-sleep and feed her lying down for most of the night, then get up with her at 5am when she was in too much disconfort to lie down anymore and let her fall asleep on my chest sitting in front of the tv. propping up the end of the cot never did much good.

LittlePushka Fri 05-Sep-08 15:59:23

Gaviscon works best if given after becasue it creates a sort of fluid jelly like layer on top of the stomach contents which "hold down" (for want o more technical explanation) the acidic contents. Feeding after gaviscon does not work quite so well because the feed needs to penetrate the layer to be "held in" by it and that is not always easy...especially if in the interim your dear LO is bringing the feed and not settling.

My DS had it andgaviscon eased the situation. But was very careful to avoid tilting him back more than 45 degrees as feed would just flow right back out. It did settle, along with the wind/flatulence/coughing/ terrifying choking but this did coincide with my (albeit reluctant) move to exclusive fomula feeding.

PinkTulips Fri 05-Sep-08 16:04:49

well i bf dd til 12 months and she was well over the reflux by then, it eased once she started proper food. not purrees, they just made more interesting vomit but proper chunky heavy food.

heymammy Fri 05-Sep-08 16:10:49

fwiw becs my dd2 was a different baby after getting Gaviscon at 8 weeks.

It does take a couple of days to build up to good effect and you have to give it with every feed but seriously she went from being clingy and whiny and puking (my god the puking!) to being settled and happy to sit in her bouncy chair and much easier to put down for naps.

I really hope it works for you; I know it works for some and not for others [fingers crossed emoticon]

GreenMonkies Fri 05-Sep-08 16:17:54

Hi Becs,

My DD2 had savage reflux until I cut cows milk out of my diet. Apparently 50% of babies with reflux are intolerant to cows milk protien. It takes two weeks for it to totally clear thier/your system and see full results but it's definately worth trying, the difference was miraculous for my baby. The screaming, constantly feeding, windy, explosively pooping dry flaky baby became a content smooth skinned non-exploding baby and it was great. I did have to keep her upright still, but I just carried her around in a ring sling and this worked.

Good luck!

PinkTulips Fri 05-Sep-08 16:24:55

yep, we found out at 6 months dd was cows milk intolerant... if only i'd had MN i would have known to try cutting out dairy!

becs1973 Fri 05-Sep-08 16:26:43

Wow, thanks so much everyone, some great tips and advice for me to try. I've been in tears some (most) days with the constant screaming (it also doesn't help me cope as I've got PND). I just hate to see him in pain, it's so frustrating for both of us. Will be a godsend if it works, imagine being able to feed him and have him happy afterwards.

Greenmonkies - I may give that a go. My LO is very flaky and dry skinned, and the poos are so explosive the last one came out all over the sofa...I just thought that was normal, didn't think it might be something in my diet.

OsmosisBanana Fri 05-Sep-08 16:28:36

No time to read. DD had horrendous reflux, I gace up changing our clothes as within a minute of a feed we'd both be covered. Didn't seem to bother her though. Just me!!! gaviscon didn't really have much effect. I started weaning her about 5 months and it slowed it right down. Stopped BF'ing altogether at 8 months as had to go back to work. Never happened again. Little git!

Don't know if that was just her stomach getting older, more developed or the solids. Wouldn't like to advise on that!

hobnob57 Fri 05-Sep-08 17:48:28

Definitely try cutting out dairy - there is a really strong link to it and refluxers. I don't want to deflate things even more but cutting out dairy for us had limited postive results and it was only when I was at the end of my tether at 5mths that I cut out gluten too and that did the trick.

Remember, you are doing a FAB job breastfeeding and all BF mothers of refluxers deserve medals IMO. I did feel at times that my breastmilk was doing more harm than good, but it was confirmed to me when I finally gave up at 13mths and dd caught every virus under then sun just what miracle stuff it is!

Do keep pestering your GP/HV about this and don't settle for 'they'll grow out of it' - no baby should be in pain.

hobnob57 Fri 05-Sep-08 17:49:54

PS there's a good support group on yahoo for breastfeedingreflux. Mostly American posters but some good ideas.

CantSleepWontSleep Fri 05-Sep-08 18:22:58

Yes, dd was milk intolerant too, until around 20 months, so I cut out dairy from my diet until then. It made much more difference than gaviscon ever did.

EachPeachPearMum Fri 05-Sep-08 20:02:58

DD had reflux, and was excl bf for 17mo.
We gave gaviscon by syringe after feeds -he will get used to it after a few times.(pfb alert- syringes are fine to steam sterilise).
I also held her upright on my shoulder for 20 mins after each feed- this made a huge difference, and she would just drop off there, snug and warm.
The best thing though was elevating the head end of her cot- we just used a stack of enormous hardback books. Try the sharpest angle you can get away with, without him being a crumpled little bundle at the bottom.

monthlymayhem Fri 05-Sep-08 22:06:26

My LO used to spit out the gaviscon if mixed with water as per the instructions, so I used to mix it with some expressed breast milk and he took that much better. We gave it to him before feeds too.

ellasmum1 Fri 05-Sep-08 22:41:25

Just want to add my support and sympathy- my ds is one week old, my dd (now 5)had horrendous reflux and we never got treatment, felt noone believed me. It got better around 12 weeks and once i started using a thickened formula.

Ds is showing all the signs of painful silent reflux,sad but I really want to breastfeed this time, it would break my heart to stop. Its just so hard to watch them in pain after every feed and not feel guilty, as if its my fault.
It doesn't help that there are enormous lists out there telling you what you should cut out of your diet. you'd bloody starve.
We find he will only sleep on his front ,which means although we have a breathing sensor pad thing I am now paranoid about cotdeath too.

VaginaShmergina Fri 05-Sep-08 22:46:21

How absolutley bloody awful for you, its such hard work. I had to stop feeding as my DS was losing weight quickly (would not think it to look at him now though !)

We too were given Gaviscon but to mix with his bottle feeds.

We also took him to have Cranial Manipulation at a local osteopath and it worked wonders. Is this something you have been told about becs?

becs1973 Sat 06-Sep-08 12:06:43

Hi everyone

yet another sleepless night (well for me, baby slept from 2.30-5.20am after I flipped him onto his tummy....). He is losing weight but he was so big at birth (99.6th percentile) and he's dropped to the 50th so they're not worried about him. of course if he'd started on the 50th and dropped to the 2nd I imagine there'd be a lot more worrying going on....

Anyway, several people have recommended cranial osteopathy so am going to take him along on Tuesday morning. I'm thinking maybe the birth didn't help with all his issues - it was a 3 day induction, followed by an EMCS and he pooed inside me so was obviously suffering - they still left him another 17 hours contracting after that though before getting him out, and I was too exhausted to realise what was going on and insist on a c sec at that earlier point.

Anyway, sorry for the ramble there! Hopefully we'll eventually get this sorted, thanks everyone

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