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Reflux baby cannot be placed on back!

(5 Posts)
Annahmolly Fri 05-Dec-14 07:47:55

My 5 week old DD does not tolerate being placed on her back. After a short while, she starts to squirm, her breathing becomes noisy and she brings up milk from both mouth and nose, even if it's two hours since I breastfed her. It is horrible to listen to, and eventually she starts crying. When she's awake I carry her all the time. I'm pretty sure she's got reflux.

She's on Infant Gaviscon since 3 days but so far the only difference is the amount of spit-up and its consistency (thicker). The discomfort remains. I will start eliminating cow's milk from my own diet today, I have started feeding her upright and we have tried raising the back legs of the Moses basket, but so far the only thing that works is to allow her to sleep on mine or DH's chest (while we stay awake) or on her side, on a soft pillow (with someone watching her the whole time).

Because of SIDS and the 'back to sleep' campaign, it seems that the medical community would rather risk aspiration (babies breathing in the contents of their stomach, potentially getting pneumonia) than recommend any sleeping position other than back. Babies supposedly have a reflex that makes them swallow spit-up, or turn their heads, but my DD has never turned her head to spit and I don't know if she swallows all her vomit/spit-up, or breathes some in. I mean, pneumonia must be pretty serious in a newborn baby and the risk should surely be weighed against the (probably much lesser) risk of SIDS?

DH and I are currently sleeping in shifts: Me from 8.30 pm-1 am. DH sleeps 1am-6 am (he needs more sleep because he is working.) I am starting to feel like a zombie and I worry that I will fall asleep by accident during one of her naps.

Does anyone have any advice at all? Does your baby sleep on their side, or do you know of any kind of seat or piece of equipment that could help? (Apparently some bouncy seats are safe for sleeping but cause 'flat head' and shoulder problems, and there used to be some kind of device called the 'nap-nanny' which was recalled after a baby slid off and died.)

Sorry about the long post.

lentilpot Fri 05-Dec-14 07:55:22

If your baby is getting most of her sleep on her tummy, then a few hours in a bouncer won't give her a flat head, especially if she is also being held most of the time she is awake.

WillowHouse Fri 05-Dec-14 08:19:18

my daughter had severe reflux and i would suggest having a chat with the GP as gaviscon is just one of many drugs they can use. I co-slept so that dd2 was slighty upright on my arm but her peaditrican (sp?) suggested elevating the head of the cot. Also you can buy special alarms for the cot that will go off if the child stops breathing. I was a single parent so had to put Dd2 down every so often so i could shower and this really gave me peace of mind.

Reflux normally wears off at six months. But do speak to a GP there is a lot they can do to help.

DanaBarrett Fri 05-Dec-14 08:25:44

I researched the risk factors involved in the SIDS advice, and made a controversial decision based on my own risk assessment.

My daughter had severe reflux caused by CMPA. When this was eliminated, she slept much better, but neither if my children have ever been happy sleeping on their backs. You need to make your choice on what's best for your child by looking at the risk factors.

Good luck xxx

BuilderMammy Fri 05-Dec-14 08:27:43

You need to get better treatment for her reflux. Carobel is far more effective than Gaviscon and you can be prescribed medication to help, like Losec or Zantac. You need to see a paediatrician.

When DS was in the NICU for his first month, he slept on his side, propped up by a cushion against his back. It was due to muscle tone issues but it did help with his extreme reflux because when he vomited he didn't choke on it. Also, we had the head of everything he lay down in (moses basket, cot, buggy) elevated as much as we could. 30 degrees is the recommended angle.

In all honesty, having had two bad refluxers, I'd probably just let her sleep on her tummy and get a breathing monitor, if that's what works for you. You're her parents and you have to balance the different risks, and I don't think the SIDS guidelines were necessarily drawn up with a copious vomiter in mind.

Hang in there! I know how awful it is but it really does get better.

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