Reflux: Signs and Symptoms, to treat or not to treat
Reflux is a condition where the valve at the top of your babies stomach does not close all of the way, allowing the child’s stomach contents to be regurgitated from the stomach back into the esophagus ( or eating tube). Some children present with reflux as a result of intolerance to their formula. The child may present as fussy after feedings or may not enjoy being place on their stomachs. Children with reflux may show signs of developmental delay, arch their backs or remain fussy even after all attempts to calm them have been made.
There are special formula’s that may be gentler and more easily digested for your baby, so consider this as a first option. Most infants “grow out” of their reflux as they develop. Parents debate the benefits of putting their child on reflux medication. It is always important to listen to your Pediatrician’s input when making this decision., and provide them with all of the information they need: the type of formula your baby eats, quantity of formula being regurgitated and frequency, dislikes for handling or tummy time, as this will impact your collective course of action. Medication is viewed as a short term solution, but may be necessary if dietary changes have been made, and there is no improvement in your child’s fussiness or tummy time tolerance.
Dependent on your comfort level for considering alternative modalities you might pursue Chiropractic manipulation. The Chiropractor “ taps” on babies spine and the end result (in a nutshell), is resolution of reflux symptoms.
Parents may try and thicken milk with rice cereal to help it become more dense and less likely to be regurgitated.
In summary, there are many options for addressing your child’s reflux. I encourage you to make an informed decision with your Pediatrician. Rest assured, most cases resolve by the time baby turns 1, but until then, I wish you patience and perseverance.
Sonja Burmeister MSPA-C, OTR/L, EICP-OT