Acid reflux in babies is more common then many people realize, with more than half of all infants experiencing its symptoms to varying degrees in the first three months of life. This may sound un-nerving for new parents, but the good news is that most infant's acid reflux is a normal part of digestive tract development with relatively few experiencing the more severe symptoms that need to be dealt with medically. |
Acid reflux, or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), occurs when stomach acid and contents flow back up the esophagus. This can be very uncomfortable and even painful for anyone, but is more so with babies as it causes an unpleasant burning sensation at the back of the throat as well as the upper chest area. The real problem with acid reflux in babies is simply identifying that they do indeed suffer from it.
Babies who suffer from occasional acid reflux often exhibit symptoms such as spitting up or vomiting, coughing, occasional fussiness or crying after eating and a reluctance to eat because of the discomfort associated with it. Of course these symptoms can be caused by any number of other things, but if they seem to consistently happen after feeding there is a good chance acid reflux is the culprit. Left untreated it can lead growth deficiencies due to the infant's inability to keep food down and refusing to eat. It is important to talk with your baby's pediatrician about any concerns you may have related to acid reflux.
The good news is that most infants out grow this condition and the vast majority of babies respond well to simple changes in feeding position and formula choices. Feeding in a more upright position is one recommendation your doctor may make, because this allows gravity to work, keeping the contents of the stomach moving downwards. It may be noticed that the baby's symptoms get worse when he is laid down for a nap. Another recommendation the doctor may make is feeding your baby more frequently with smaller amounts, instead of large feedings which exacerbate the condition. Thickening the formula may also help control the symptoms.
If dietary and positioning modifications do not help control the acid reflux in your baby then acid controlling medications may need to be used. If this is the case be sure to closely follow your doctor's orders. Treating a baby with over the counter medications is not a good idea unless supervised by the baby's pediatrician.
It is important to have any infant who suffers from acid reflux treated for this condition because it can cause damage to the esophagus and larynx as well as respiratory problems. In most cases it seldom gets to this extreme, but acid reflux in babies is something that all new parents need to be aware of and cognizant for.
To learn more about the symptoms of acid reflux in babies please visit the website Acid Reflux Disease by clicking here.
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