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Kerry asked...

My baby has silent reflux.

Tags: digestion

My daughter is 15 weeks old and has been treated for silent reflux since 4 weeks old using infant gaviscon. Over the past week or so she has become very unsettled in herself and seems uncomfortable during and after feeds.

In the past couple of days she has started refusing feeds and if taking a bottle will only take a few ounces at a time. Her GP has increased her gaviscon to the highest dose which has made no difference but says there is nothing else he would recommend giving and says it will pass.

Do you think I should be pushing for a second opinion on this either via NHS or through her insurance? Are there other options out there for medication to ease her discomfort?

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The answer

I am sorry to hear of the problems your baby is experiencing with silent reflux. Correct medication in the treatment of silent reflux is important and you may, as the baby’s advocate, ask for a second opinion from another GP, a paediatrician or even a paediatric gastroenterologist as the baby may require assessment of her sucking and swallowing skills prior to medication being prescribed.

Very early on, babies with reflux can associate eating with pain and discomfort, becoming ‘fussy’ eaters or even refusing to feed. However, medication is not considered to be the first course of action. Some of the following management strategies may help if you haven’t already tried them:

  • Feed your daughter in an upright position, keeping the head higher than the stomach for at least 30 minutes after a feed.
  • Avoid exposure to tobacco smoke.
  • Avoid over feeding your baby – if she vomits, consider waiting until the next feed rather than feeding her again.
  • Avoid rough handling such as bouncing your baby after a feed and try to keep her calm.
  • If possible, try changing your baby’s nappy before a feed rather than after to avoid having to lift legs above her head.
  • Avoid tight clothing such as elasticated waist bands.
  • Discuss with your doctor the possibility of using thickened feeds, which can be helpful sometimes.
  • Burp your baby frequently during feeds.
  • Try feeding your baby smaller amounts more frequently.

I hope you find this useful.

Answered by Health at Hand nurses.


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