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How should you treat a baby with reflux?

Tags: digestion

Having done everything the GP and midwife have suggested, do you have any alternative thoughts on how to treat a baby with reflux?

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The answer

Infantile reflux occurs when food or acid spills back into your baby’s oesophagus during or after feeding. Before you try over-the-counter or prescribed medications, make sure that you have given some simple measures a go to see if you can minimise this problem. Breast milk is best for many reasons and is easier to digest than formula milks. Easier digestion speeds up the passage of milk through the digestive tract and there is less likelihood of gas. Try different feeding positions − angle your baby at an incline rather than flat to avoid curvature/hunching of your baby’s back during feeding − this will allow milk to pass through more easily. Avoid tight nappies or clothing, wind thoroughly and try to keep your baby upright or on an incline for 20 minutes after each feed. Some mums have a more than adequate flow of breast milk and some babies will be vigorous feeders −both can cause the baby to gulp and swallow air. Try expressing a little of the fast flowing fore-milk or allow your baby to feed on and off in the first few minutes. Finish one breast first before you go onto the next. Your baby may want to comfort feed, even though they may be becoming full. The suckling process at the end of a feed also encourages the passage of milk through the digestive tract. Try more frequent, smaller volume feeds to avoid overfilling the baby’s stomach. If things don't settle or you have concerns about your baby, speak to your health visitor or GP.

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