Spitting mad
Ready to chuck it in on baby vomit? You’re not alone with a reflux baby.
As a mother of 4, I’ve dealt with reflux on many occasions. My oldest boy Rivan, started this reflux trend. You can imagine as a new mum, how frantic I was when I explained to the doctor that he throws up after each feed. To me it looked like a huge amount of milk being brought back up. Particularly since I was breastfeeding and didn’t know how much he actually swallowed in the first place. 

The doctor gave me very good advice. He told me to take a medicine spoon filled with milk, throw that on the burping cloth and measure the size of the wet area. Then compare it to the amount that Rivan was spitting up.  Turns out that it only looked like a lot, but in actual fact was less than 10ml after each feed.

By the time that the twins came along, I knew not to panic. Tristan also had reflux, but a lot less than Rivan. Zaan was the one that taught me the difference between reflux and actual vomiting. He never had reflux, but that could be because he was tube fed during the first 3 months of his life.  Zaan became allergic to formula made from cow’s milk. This made him throw up. He used to pull his mouth into a pout as if he’d just tasted a lemon. He’d stick his tongue out in a little point and then he’d throw up what was obviously the entire contents of his stomach. A burping cloth was not enough to catch everything.

My little girl Tioné is now 7 weeks old and she has taken reflux to a whole new level.  I’ve seen the milk leave her mouth in little fountains! Even this is not a cause for concern. Except for keeping dry burping cloths at the ready.

So what is reflux?

To put it in very plain terms, it’s babies spitting up after a feed. It’s the same as heartburn in adults. The reason some babies get this is that the muscles at the bottom of the gullet is not fully developed when they’re small. So when their stomachs are full, the pressure of air bubbles cause milk to flow back up. This usually goes away when they grow stronger.

My paediatrician believes that the reason reflux starts at around 4 to 5 weeks is due to the baby becoming greedier and taking bigger gulps when drinking.

How to know if it’s serious

In most cases reflux is not a problem and doesn’t need to be treated. Should your baby have obvious discomfort from the acidity of the milk being brought back up, you’re doctor can prescribe medicine that will alleviate this. Also if your baby is not gaining weight you should consult your doctor as soon as possible.

I am a great believer in reflux drops such as Telament. This helps by making the small bubbles of air join together in the stomach to make it easier for the wind to come out with less milk.  It is also completely safe as well as a preventative measure.

Tioné has no discomfort and is obviously not struggling to gain weight. So unless that changes the only thing I’ll be doing is keep an eye on her to make sure it’s not making her unhappy as well as keeping the burping cloth close at hand.

Did your baby have reflux? What helped you cope?
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