Following on from our interview with expert Maternity Nurse Margarita last week, we've asked for her top tips for dealing with infant reflux, an area Margarita specialises in.
If reflux has increased and once diagnosis has been made by your doctor or paediatrician, you should keep vigilant on the condition and symptoms, and report back any new findings to your doctor if required.
Here are Margarita's top tips for dealing with an infant with reflux.
- If you can breastfeed your baby for the first six months this will be highly beneficial all round, as breast milk is far easier to digest.
- Keep a feed diary and write down when your baby feeds and log when your baby has their medications and any other new symptoms that may be apparent.
- There are many different types of medication available for reflux, and your doctor will best prescribe what is best for your infant's reflux and its severity.
- When feeding your baby keep them in an upright position as much as possible. This is important after a feed too, while the baby digests. Also, try not to jiggle your baby too much.
- When doing a nappy change place a reflux support pillow on the changing mat to keep baby elevated, this can also be placed on any playmate on the floor during play times.
- Reflux can be a stressful condition for any new parent to observe in their infant. Once reflux has been managed, your baby will feed far better and be far more content in themselves. A happier, contented baby means a far happier parent.
- Try and remember that your infant will outgrow this condition. Every baby's reflux condition is different, thus the treatment that each baby will need is unique to the individual diagnosis. Generally by the time they are one year old they will have outgrown it, and once weaning is in force this will also lessen the reflux condition too.
- Speak with your Doctor, family and friends if you need further support.
- Monitor your baby's weight gain/decrease. This will prove beneficial as the reflux medication is worked out accordingly to your baby's weight mass.
- If your baby's reflux starts to come back again it could be simply that your baby has gained weight and their medication needs to be altered to the weight increase.
- Have a large supply of muslin cloths to hand as this will help, particularly if your baby has 'projecting' reflux.
- Always pack a spare item of clothing when out and about.
- Try not to self-diagnose, and if you think that your infant is experiencing painful fussy feeds and losing a lot of their milk intake after a feed, seek medical attention immediately from your doctor, midwife or health visitor.
- Some babies may seem to have reflux but it could actually be something else so always talk to your doctor, midwife or health visitor before you change your baby's infant formula to an 'AR based formula milk' (AR - Anti Reflux) or 'stay down' milk, which is widely available to buy in chemists.