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Monday, June 20, 2011

You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream for ....acid reflux?

After three babies, I thought I was an expert. Quieting them? Easy. Swaddling them? A snap. Burping them? No problem. Nursing them? Cake walk.

But, acid reflux? What?

My fourth baby (now 19 months old) came into this world with a proclivity to puking up everything and screaming. All. The. Time. That acid reflux was my arch nemesis. I didn't get any sleep and I'm sure my hearing was damaged from holding a screaming baby on my shoulder. Oh, and the laundry! Getting barfed on repeatedly was a frequent occurrence.

After two months of pure hell, I finally talked to the pediatrician and my sister (she's had six babies and is married to a naturopathic physician). Here's what I found to finally that worked:


  • Prevacid for babies. My doctor prescribed this and although it wasn't an end-all cure, it did help the baby sleep longer.
  • Mag Phos (which stands for Magnesium Phosphate). This is a homeopathic tablet and dissolves in baby's mouth. I gave her about two tablets every four hours. I picked it up from Whole Foods. You can also use it for common upset tummies and menstrual cramps, so it's good to have a bottle around the house.
  • Baby swing. The sitting up position worked wonders for her and kept my arms from fatiguing. I tried wearing her in a sling, but because newborns don't have the core strength to hold themselves erect, her stomach would get compressed, which would cause the acid to come up and make her scream more. (My sister said she had her babies with reflux sleep in the swing for the first six months of life! Whatever it takes to get them relief and you some sanity. Right?)
  • Waiting for about 15 to 20 minutes after feeding before putting her down on a flat surface. This helped to prevent both the puking and the screaming.
    If you have a baby with acid reflux, remember they will grow out of it and there are loads of moms who have dealt with (or are currently dealing with) it.

    Be strong.

    2 comments:

    1. Great post on infant acid reflux! My now 13 month old daughter had reflux and it was (up until this point) by far the most horrible experience of my life! I didn't even know babies could have reflux and as she is our first child - we were very unprepared!! She eventually outgrew it (at around 8 months) however here is what we did that helped:
      1) although we initially resisted giving her medication, we eventually gave in and it did help some (however, I agree it was def not a cure-all)
      2) We burped her frequently during feedings and also kept her in a upright position for 20-30 minutes after each feeding,
      3) Per our doctor's recommendations, we elevated the head of her bed (the whole bed - not the mattress, which could be dangerous) - which helped a lot at night.
      4) baby swings and vibrating bouncy seats galore!
      5) We also learned to be careful of the way we held her to avoid squeezing her stomach and found that she was most comfortable stretched out laying on our shoulder, or later, in a front carrier
      6) She could not tolerate tummy-time (it literally made her throw up buckets) so we did not force it. We were concerned that this would hinder her development but as soon as she outgrew her reflux she caught right up (crawled at 8 1/2 mos and walked at 9 1/2!)
      7) Cloth diapers make excellent burp cloths as they are super absorbant, we always kept several on hand anywhere we went, as well as multiple bibs to avoid constantly changing her clothes....
      Thanks so much for your post, good to hear from another mom who went through the same thing! :)

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    2. The sitting up position worked wonders for her and kept my arms from fatiguing.Website

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