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Babies with Reflux

What causes infant reflux and how you as a parent can help ease the symptoms

A common condition in premature babies, but can occur in up to 50% of all babies. Gastro-Esophageal Reflux (GER) causes severe heartburn pain when milk and stomach acid flow backwards up into the oesophagus. Normally, gravity keeps breast milk or formula in the stomach, but when a baby lies flat, the stomach contents are allowed to "reflux" back into the oesophagus. During sleep, this acid irritation will cause frequent night waking, pain, excessive spitting up, and restless sleep patterns. 

Baby hammocks have proven to be a great help for babies with reflux.  The Poco hammock will hold your baby in a semi upright position which is necessary to relieve discomfort and reduce the symptoms of reflux. Keeping babies in this position whilst they sleep makes a perfect sleeping environment for babies with reflux, the difference it makes is remarkable.

my baby has refluxThe Poco Baby Hammock is tactile, snug and secure which can soothe even the most irritable of babies, in effect they will cry less which is vital for babies with reflux as crying will aggravate reflux. Although babies love the bouncing motion of the Poco Baby Hammock we DO NOT recommend you bounce babies if they have reflux, instead use a gentle swinging motion as you will find any bouncing motion may aggravate reflux, they will find the bouncing great fun when they have out grown the reflux.    


What are the symptoms of reflux 

If your baby shows some or all of the symptoms below it is possible your baby is suffering from infant colic

  • Vomiting
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Failure to thrive
  • Irritability
  • Coughing
  • Breathing problems

If you see any of the following symptoms in addition to the ones listed above for reflux, check with your GP:

  • Vomiting bile (green material)
  • Repeated projectile (forceful) vomiting
  • Crying that does not stop
  • Vomiting blood
  • Abdominal distension
  • Severe constipation
  • Stools that are bloody or jet-black
  • Persistent refusal of feeds
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Weight loss, or poor weight gain over a period of time
  • Excessive crying or irritability during or after feeding or regurgitation
  • Vomiting old food, i.e., several hours after feeding
  • Choking or blue spells
  • New onset of vomiting after six months of age

Keep a diary of your babies reflux to take to the doctor with you, if you can. Make a note of:

  • when your baby feeds
  • when he has bouts of crying
  • how often and how much he's bringing up

So what can you do to help?  

Unfortunately there is no cure for reflux however you can help reduce the symptoms and make your baby more comfortable, medication is available in servere cases   

  • Frequent, small feeds may help prevent your baby’s stomach getting too full   
  • Keeping him upright during and for at least half an hour after a feed can help to reduce reflux by using gravity to keep the milk down.
  • Try to keep as still as possible and have quiet time after feed. Formula fed babies may require longer periods to settle because formula is digested at a slower rate than breastmilk.
  •  Avoid tight clothing, particularly clothing that is tight around your baby’s stomach, as it can make reflux worse by increasing pressure on the lower oesophageal sphincter.
  •  Think about how and when you travel. Most car seats and travel systems have a deep ‘well’ for one static seated position where baby can be slumped in an uncomfortable position. When baby slumps and slouches over like this added pressure is placed on their tummy and the baby will feel the pain of rising acid. This pressure can be very painful and can increase reflux episodes. 
  • Gentle movements, perhaps being worn in a sling or being pushed in a buggy, may work well too. Try carrying baby around as much as possible in a baby carrier throughout the day. Carried babies tend to cry less and crying will make reflux worse, plus, it keeps baby upright. Consider different baby slings or wraps and decide what works for you and baby.
  • Some parents have found that baby massage and cranial osteopathy have helped them cope with colic and reflux. 
  • Use a Poco Baby hammock to keep you baby in the reccomended position



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