We are now going to look at Acid Reflux in babies and how it can be treated.
Baby Acid Reflux – How do I treat Baby Acid Reflux?
Baby acid reflux is a medical condition, which is aptly defined as the condition that allows food eaten earlier by the baby and stomach acid to surge back up into the babyís esophagus.
For sufferers, be it from baby reflux, colic, infant reflux, child reflux or adult reflux, the food is swallowed and the food mixes with the acids but is forced back through the epiglottis into the esophagus. The esophagus has no protection like that of the stomach and the acids eat into the soft tissue causing immediate discomfort and potential for long term damage.
This usually happens to the baby before their digestive system stabilizes and functions as it should. In a personís body (babies included), there are muscles at the lower side of the esophagus that allows the food to enter the stomach after swallowing.
These muscles usually close after food passage and only open when gas (often air swallowed with food) is being released. They are known as the lower esophageal sphincter. In young babies, the muscles may let out the gas in addition to food contents swallowed earlier.
The contents then flow back into the babyís esophagus and into the mouth. Most babies spit them out. Parents may mistake this as vomiting, although most of them refer to this condition simply as spitting up.
How to treat Baby Acid Reflux – When does Baby Acid Reflux occur?
In most cases, baby acid reflux occurs minutes after the baby is fed. However, this may also happen when the baby cries, coughs or strains. The condition is very common as most babies experience it in the first three months of life.
GERD is common in infants and has its own name — spitting up. Reflux occurs during the first three months of age in more than half of all infants. Many babies don’t require treatment.
The condition however usually disappears when the baby is between twelve and eighteen months of age. In some few cases, medical intervention may be required.
How to treat Baby Acid Reflux – Treatment for Baby Acid Reflux
Treatment for baby acid reflux should only be sought when the symptoms are severe therefore posing a risk to the babyís development. Some of the symptoms that parents should be on the look out for include frequent spitting, frequent vomiting, constant crying, the baby arching backwards while being fed, frequent hiccups, frequent coughing, bad breath, poor sleeping habits and irritability.
In more severe cases, the baby may have difficulty swallowing food and may be diagnosed with a sore throat.
Babies with severe baby acid reflux may have poor feeding habits, which affect their weight gain. In some cases, the baby may even loose weight.
The baby may also be diagnosed with conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, wheezing and pneumonia. Babies with the condition may also have excessive drooling, and may frequently develop sinus or ear infections. When the baby cries, the parent may notice that the babyís voice is hoarse.
How to treat Baby Acid Reflux – Treatment varies with the severity of the condition
The treatment of baby acid reflux varies with the severity of the condition. In most cases, pediatricianís advice parents to follow some simple feeding directives in order to reduce the severity of the condition.
Common infant GERD symptoms are:
- Frequent spitting up or vomiting
- Irritability when feeding
- Refusing food or eating only small amounts
- Sudden or constant crying
- Arching the back while feeding
When such happens, it is usually because the pediatrician suspects that the condition will clear as the baby gets older. Some of the common treatments offered by the doctors include antacids, which neutralizes the acid contained in the babyís stomach, Acid suppressers, which suppress the rate of acid production in the stomach and acid blockers. These block acid production in the babyís stomach.
Some of the lifestyle changes that parents are advised to make include keeping the baby upright after feeding and winding the baby after feeding. Since the contents contained in the spitting up have acid from the stomach, the condition may cause damage to the babyís throat if left untreated.
As you can see, Acid Reflux in babies can be a very uncomfortable condition. As with all forms of Acid Reflux, seeing your doctor is recommended.