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Reflux is the physical process of coming back of the contents of stomach into the gullet or even mouth. Esophagus is the medical name for gullet, therefore the complete term for reflux is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

The chest cavity in our bodies is separated from the abdominal cavity by a muscle called as diaphragm in medical parlance. When the esophagus crosses the diaphragm, the contents of the stomach are prevented from entering into the esophagus because the diaphragm functions as a regulator or a valve. Medically this mechanism is called as sphincter.

However this functioning of the diaphragm is not that strong sometimes. In some cases such as pregnancy, this valve does not function properly. As a matter of fact, when you get heartburn in your pregnancy, your baby is actually pushing into the sphincter. The result is that acid is forced backwards in the esophagus.

This problem also occurs with babies. Some week old infants reflex after formula feed while others month old babies may reflux after breastfeeding. Some babies may spit up after bottle feed and others may reflux at the time of sleeping. In their case the sphincter function of the diaphragm is not completely developed. However, in about one year this function gets developed to a great extent and babies tend to have the reflex problem quite less. On an average, reflux is actually a problem only in about 50% of the cases. Otherwise it is just a routine matter. After the baby has reached the age of 10 months, only about 1 in 20 babies face this problem.

Baby Reflux Symptoms / Signs

The baby may have hiccups or may regurgitate milk after feeding. Some amount of coughing may also take place. This is quite normal and you need not worry if your baby is otherwise completely okay. You just need to keep a tissue or a muslin cloth nearby. Reflux can happen to any baby, whether he is breast-fed or formula fed. In normal course, proper positioning is helpful for prevention of infant gastroesophageal reflux.

When should I consult the doctor ?
  • If newborn refluxes more than 5 times in a day and this happens on a daily basis.
  • If infant resorts to too much crying after taking feed.
  • If baby vomits regularly
  • If baby or toddler keeps on coughing frequently.

At first you should place your baby in an vertical or erect position for at least 20 minutes after every feed. You can use inclined pillow to prevent the baby from spiting up. Only this much may help a lot. You may also give your baby small but frequent feeds. This method is however not liked by most of the babies, as they want to have a fulfilling feed every time.

How to treat Baby Acid Reflux / Gastric ?

In serious cases you may try some antacids or substances that act as feed thickeners. These should be used only on the prescription of a qualified doctor and should be discontinued when things get better.
Infant may be referred to a pediatric under the following circumstances:

  • If the disease has not been diagnosed properly.
  • If your toddler’s condition does not improve with common methods.
  • If blood comes in the vomit.
  • If your baby develops Anemia.
  • If there is regular coughing and frequent chest infections take place.
  • If the baby does not gain appropriate weight and becomes averse to food.
  • If your baby experiences difficulty in swallowing.

The above-mentioned symptoms are rare but if you see any of them in your baby, take the advice of your doctor.

Don’t be panic

Your baby will most likely develop only the simple symptoms and there would be no complications, as this problem of reflux tends to subside with the growth of your baby.

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