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Help..anybody know about gastric reflux.......

(25 Posts)
Clare1406 Thu 26-May-05 10:24:27

my best friend has a 12wk old little boy who's never had a feed without being sick. He doesn't like laying on his back, so when she changes his nappy he constantly kicks screams & arches his back. When he does sleep he sound he has to lay on his side, if he lays on his back he sounds like a little snorting pig, like he can't breath. It's like he's constantly got something stuck in his throat.
They've given him 2 lots of medicine, 1 to thichken his feed so it doesn't come back up, & another to calm him down, but this gives him diahorea. So the poor thing must be in a lot of pain.
Their peadeatrician just keeps telling them its something that he'll grow out of, but my BF is at her wits end, she can't cope, she doesn't sleep, she just watches him. This morning when i phoned her she said she didn't want baby anymore, so i've phoned her mum to get the health visitor to try & do something.
Has anyone else experienced this?
Really woried about her

foxinsocks Thu 26-May-05 10:29:57

how terrible for your friend

both mine had reflux - if you search the messages you will find loads of info on it

I found with both of mine there was a distinct lack of support and understanding for the emotional effect that reflux has on mothers - the constant sicking, crying etc. In fact, it's one of the reasons we (dh and I) decided not to have another child! It was just so stressful.

A few tips - get one of those baby chairs that they sit up in (sort of bouncy chair thing) and keep them upright for at least an hour after they've fed. Don't give the night time feed straight before putting them down. Get plastic backed bibs and keep them on all day (and take loads out with you).

If it's affecting his sleep that badly (if he's choking in his sleep), I would be tempted to take him back to the docs. In the end, both mine slept on their sides rather than strictly on their backs.

foxinsocks Thu 26-May-05 10:32:34

and he will outgrow it - but they all outgrow it at different times. With some babies, it's when they sit up, with some - starting solids can help and with some, it's when they walk. And I agree, I always found 'he'll outgrow it' a really unhelpful comment when I was really struggling!

Clare1406 Thu 26-May-05 10:39:49

Thanks Foxinsocks, I bought her one of those rockers, the back comes right up, got it from kiddicare, that does help, but because he's always being held, think he's getting too used to it. When i spoke to her earlier, she was going to phone the peadeatrician again. he's been in hospital for a week on observation, but they pumped him so full of drugs that he did actually sleep the whole time!! So never got to see him at his worst.
She's too scared to go out in case he starts screaming, coz shes too tired to cope. Catch 22!!

KathH Thu 26-May-05 11:17:15

ds2 who will be 8 mths has it and is on medication from hospital - none of which has worked that well, am praying it will end anyday!

LIZS Thu 26-May-05 11:24:37

I was told never to lie dd down , even for a nappy change, within half an hour - hour of a feed and to keep all mattresses, changing mat etc steeply inclined (rolled blankets underneath or thick books under cot feet). She lived in her bouncy chair and car seat until she could sit up herself. Does your friend have a sling so her ds can be kept upright while she could get on with a few normal things herself. She also needs to be careful in case he gets an infection in ear or throat or Upper Respiritory system as a result of regurgitating milk, on which bacteria would thrive.

your poor friend, it can be really hard work and it is so easy to just not go out, which makes everything somehow seem worse Could someone take the baby out for an hour or two to give her a break.

lalaa Thu 26-May-05 11:44:53

sorry to hear all this. it does sound awful and brings back lots of memories.
there is lots of good advice here and on other threads. the only thing that I've thought of not mentioned here so far is to raise up the cot at the head end - put books under it so it's at about 30 degrees. that might help with the regurgitation he's experiencing when in bed. we did a lot of walking about in the day too - for me and for her. if your friend has a pram/pushchair where the head end can be raised a little, that's also good. and once the baby can sit up a bit, then they've got lots to see and that distracts them a bit from the pain.
other than that, keep hassling the doctors until they come up with something.

Loo78 Thu 26-May-05 22:02:57

Hi all - I am the bf clare refers to and wanted to thank you all for your advise and pick your brains further. Havin already typed this message once and deleted it by accident(!) I will keep this one brief.Ds is now 13 wks and we are still struggling. Gp reluctantly referred us to paed who initially perscribed Zabtac. This took the pain out of the reflux but gave him bad diahrea, violent wind and tummy cramps etc. We have now been given Losec and the same pattern is emerging - has anyone experiened problems with these medicines? Whilst they help with the pain, they create a whole new discomfort which means that if the reflux isnt disturbing him(which in our case can be one of 3 things - spitting up mouthfuls & occaisionaly whole feeds, choking the milk in to his wind pipe but mainly constant gulping and swallowing whilst awake and asleep). Is the contant swallowing(even when baby is dead still and upright?)something anyone else experiences?
has anyone experienced problems like this with these medicines? Can reflux babies have milk intolerances which somehow reacts with the medicines?
Finally, thank you for the tips on raising the cot, etc but we try it all. he cannot tolerate anny longer than 10 -20mins max on his back without ending up crying in frustration (leading to pain) through contant disturbance of gulping down what is comin back up. (This includes cot, car seat, pram (raised). Even a 5 min dash to the shop or a nappy change is a military operation requiring two people to carry out the task and the other to try and calm him down - if left to cry, the crying just gets worse, leading to pain, until he eventually passes out with exhaustion as nothing can console him other than walking around with him in upright position which in itself can take hours. Is the cantant swallowing down anything you have experienced - is it all part of reflux or are we missing something else?
The only way he can sleep (eventually) is if we get hime off in upright position on our chest(which sometimes he wont tolerate) and very carefully laying him on his tummy.
Fianlly, he will feed whenever offered and drink all that is offered - he displays no feeding pattern of his own - he is piling on weight - again is this anything famniliar?
Slowing going out of my mind and round and round in cirlces with the medicines.......

Looking forward to hearing from you xxx

SofiaAmes Fri 27-May-05 00:45:13

My dd was like this except she wasn't sick (turned out this is called hidden reflux). Anyway, paed in usa prescribed a special staydown formula (i was exclusively bfing) and suggested giving one feed a day in addition to the bfing. It was called Enfamil AR. It's available in the uk (generally behind the counter at chemists). It worked wonderfully. We also put dd to sleep on her belly which really helped a lot as well. I realize that that's not recommended because of cot death, but we had none of the other factors in our family (smoking, family history, apnea etc.), so made the decision that it was relatively safe. She eventually grew out of it completely once she started on solids.

foxinsocks Fri 27-May-05 13:20:53

Loo, the one thing we were told to be very careful about was over feeding. I'm not saying you're doing that and I must admit, I was breast feeding my first child (the one who had the worst reflux) and was told by EVERYONE that you couldn't over feed a breast fed child. Well, I was put in place by paed who said it is very important to make sure they are not overfed - to try and have some sort of feeding routine and make sure that they go a good distance between feeds. Any amount of overfeeding is going to make their distress much worse. Logically, I can see why that makes sense.

Incidentally, I had to have a course of Losec for overacidity in my stomach and had no problems with it (but of course, I'm an adult!) however, one thing I do remember is that it made me very hungry.

The constant swallowing is swallowing the regurgitated feed back down (I remember mine doing that) but I would double check with the pead just to be sure so that they check his throat/oesaphagus (spelling?) to make sure everything is OK.

foxinsocks Fri 27-May-05 13:23:06

oh and just for interests sake, dd (the one with the worst reflux) did have a milk allergy which we found out when we tried her on formula. Once she was on a hypoallergenic formula, her reflux did calm down a bit (but it didn't go away) and she did seem much more settled. But ds had reflux and wasn't milk allergic so I don't think there's any rhyme or reason.

Loo78 Fri 27-May-05 13:41:39

Hi foxinsocks. Thank you so much for relpying. Out of interset what symptoms did dd have to make you change her milk and how didi you find out it was a milk alergy?
What is the hypoalergenic formula called and is it percribed by gp?

To menton this again...... has anyone experienced a reaction to the medicines -ie added discomfort and diareah which ds has (and is) experienceing with Zantac and now losec? Apparently the losec reduces the amount of tummy acid produced - this must therefore effect the babies digestive system (?) but the paed doesnt seem to accept this or offer any solutions only to change the medicine again. I read on a website that reflux babies can benefit from milk with protein already broken down - any experience of this or how it could be related to the reduction in tummy acid?
Thanks xx

Loo78 Fri 27-May-05 14:18:39

Hi SofiaAmes,
Was you child able to tolerate anytime on their back - ie at nappy change time, car seat, bouncy chair - we get 20 mins max with constant distraction before the discomfort starts up and the starts refluxing (swallowing down etc)- is this similar at all? We have tried gaviscon to thicken his feeds together with the other medicine which didnt help the constant swallowing - we are now trying 'thick and easy' thickener which we add to his his milk but he still keeps bringing up - any thoughts or similarities?

koalabear Fri 27-May-05 14:49:14

Loo - without giving you our whole history, yep, we have been where you are - the worst thing was being ignore by GP for so long (you're over-reacting, they said), and eventually having to demand to see paid who said "i can't believe it took you this long to bring him to me"

anyway, things which helped us:

1. roll up two towels, placed DS on his SIDE, and propped the two towels either side to stop him rolling frontwards or backwards - first time we did this, was first decent sleep he had (at 16 weeks )

2. Enfamil AR - would breast feed, and then top up with this formula (which you can get free on prescription from doctor) - stopped the volcanic eruptions of breast milk from mouth (Enfamil goes down like normal milk, but turns to a porridge like consistency in tummy)

3. Sit in chair thing that looks like a UFO (if you don't know what I mean I'll send you link)

4. Patience (sorry, no other way)

5. Starting solids at 4 months (yes, I know they say 6, but here, the disadvantages were outweighted by the advantages)

good luck, and you have our thoughts and sympathies

LIZS Fri 27-May-05 14:50:06

We used Thick n Easy when switching to bottlefeeding with dd at around 8 months( and in ebm before that), it made a slight difference. tbh a 20 minutes spell sitting or whatever is not that bad for a 12 week old baby and I'm surprised that he is ok for a while ,as dd's was pretty immediate, and then starts showing these symptoms, could it be digestive trouble rather than reflux. How violently is he sick and has he been investigated for Pyloric Stenosis (sp ?) which is a more serious physical condition affecting the valve at the top of the stomach.

foxinsocks Fri 27-May-05 19:32:45

I knew about the milk allergy because I was stopping breastfeeding to go on to formula because I was going back to work. Every milk based formula brought her out in hives all over her body (and Wysoy, the soya one, as well) - even her mouth swelled up poor thing. We were prescribed nutramigen - which has the proteins broken down and contains no milk or soya (from memory).

What formula is he on? I know from experience though that if the baby puts on weight, they are not very concerned! Have you got a routine for your feeds? Is it possible that in addition to the reflux, he's going through a colicky phase?

chicagomum Fri 27-May-05 20:10:04

I can really sympathise, My son was exactlly the same until recently, we moved to Us and he was switched to enfamil, we also use the Bumbo seat to keep him upright and we have (under advisement) started solids. It has improved greatly in terms of his comfort and sleep (and therefore our sanity), but he is still a very "sicky" baby, even hours after he has fed. Just picking him up from the chair, cot etc causes him to regurgitate, (my washing machine's working overtime). The doctor's in the uk were no use "all baby's tend to bring up milk it's normal" I was told. It was only when we registered with a paediatrician (as is the norm here) we got help. Keep your chin up I know its useless advice but with time it improves (also I@'ve noticed as he has learnt to roll over he sleeps on his stomach and that seems to help-a difficult choice I know)

SofiaAmes Fri 27-May-05 20:59:24

By the way, main difference between Enfamil AR and the normal english stay down formulas is that enfamil uses rice starch to thicken and english ones use corn starch. I'm not sure why that makes a difference, but it does.

SamK Sat 28-May-05 19:38:13

Hi, my heartfelt sympathies - it all sounds horribly familiar, except ours had no reaction to Losec./ He is now 15mnths & growing out of it, but we have just discovered he has peanut allergy & it is highly likely he has more ... perhaps yours has allergy to medication??

A lot of good advice here. To get ours to sleep we had to tip the cot up at quite an angle & then tie the "pants" from a door bouncer into the cot & then put ds into pants. This kept him from slipping down the cot.

In my experience anything is worth a go...

Hang in there & get as much help and support as you can. Keep pestering the doc/HV etc until they listen & PLEASE get some time away to yourself (even a walk 'round the block) you need it to keep your sanity...


LIZS Sat 28-May-05 20:21:39

We did similar with a large cot sheet, pinned around dd like a nappy and then fixed with more pins to side of cot mattress, when she also had bronchiolitis, as advised to place it at a very steep angle.

KathH Sun 29-May-05 08:22:54

Just wanted to second the advice about making sure you get some time to yourself - I made the mistake of thinking nobody else could look after ds2 and found myself trapped in the house which with hindsight made it seem 10 times worse. It does get better, ds2 was being sick about 20 odd times a day and now at 8 months it's only a couple of times a day. Also see if your gp will refer you to a peadiatrican - ds2 was referred and altho it didnt provide any magic answers it helped to know that it was being monitored - we have to go back every 6 weeks. One of the tips we were also given is to make sure he never gets really hungry as they reflux more when they're starving. We had to give less milk in a feed but feed him more often which was a bit better. We also got told to put him to sleep on his side in the daytime - on the left side i think that's the side their stomach is on as apparently not being able to settle when they're lying on their backs is a reflux thing. And ds2 is piling on the weight too, even when he was being sick loads!

Bensonbluebird Tue 31-May-05 12:23:06

How much sick is too much?

My ds is sick several times after each feed. He is 20 wks and is solely bf. I think I can trace this back to when I had some antibiotics for mastitis at about 9 wks, I'm sure that he wasn't this sick before. I know that antibiotics clean out all the bacteria in your system and make it more difficult for you to digest milk, so I'm concerned that this may have happened to my ds too. I haven't consulted my hv yet, but will next time I see her. Does anyone think it would be worth my while not having any cow's milk?

Advice appreciated.

charellie Tue 31-May-05 12:36:21

One of my twins had reflux and I still remember how awful it was at the time.
I would ask to be referred to another paed as if no improvement has been seen then there must be something else they can do.
When I saw a Paed she prescribed some formula which has a thickener in it and this really helped but she also said that if there wasn't a drastic improvement we must return as there were many more things she could try.

I would also recommend cranial osteopathy. My dt1 has this once a week gradually reducing to every other week and then once a month. This went one for about a year. Quite expensive but definitely worth it.

koalabear Tue 31-May-05 12:57:12

bensonbluebird - i was told that reflux becomes more obvious between 6 to 12 weeks, and therefore, the timing of your antibiotics and the onset of possible reflux might just be coincidence

additionally, "safe" for breastfeeding antibiotics apparently means (according to breastfeeding counsellor) that they will not harm your baby - but does not mean that they will not cause irritation to baby whilst you are taking them - on the advice i have been given therefore, i would expect your baby to suffer diahorea etc whilst you were taking antibiotics, but not for your baby to suffer after you cease taking them

when it comes to you drinking cows milk, i have not heard of your diet having any effect whatsoever on the baby having reflux - its a mechanical problem with the baby, not an alergy to a certain food

i have heard of the mother's intake of dairy food causing colic in babies though

if you are worried that your baby may have reflux, talk to your health visitor/GP about a review, but it she does, it needs to be properly diagnosed and treated (by the way, reflux can come in different ways, from very mild requiring not treatment, to very nasty requiring drugs and hospital)

hope this helps

Bensonbluebird Thu 02-Jun-05 19:23:07

Thanks Koalabear,

I'll sk my HV when I see her on monday.

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