First up, let me tell you what Reflux IS NOT – Infant Reflux IS NOT NORMAL! It’s COMMON, but that’s absolutely NOT the same as NORMAL! Reflux occurs in 40% of babies in the UK & 50% of babies in the US, so it’s certainly common, but that does not make it normal. Unfortunately, the medical establishment is not taught enough about infant reflux or given enough time to look at things holistically & instead are told to reassure parents that vomiting & crying is normal for newborns. Now to a point, crying IS normal in newborns – but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything about it, & occasional episodes of vomiting ARE normal for newborns, but repeatedly vomiting, needing several changes of clothes every day, or being horribly uncomfortable IS NOT normal. I’m guessing that one of the reasons you’re here is because you already know that & you’re looking for solutions. Let’s look at what Reflux IS & then we can look at what to do about it.
SO, what is reflux? Reflux (or Gastro-oesophageal Reflux to give it it’s full name) is the involuntary movement (reflux) of stomach contents (gastro) into the oesophagus (oesophageal). Now, don’t get me wrong – it is VITAL that, as human beings, we are able to regurgitate things from our stomachs. The primary reason for this is to rid ourselves of excess air (burping) so that this air does not go further down into our digestive system where it may get trapped & cause discomfort. The other reason regurgitation is essential is that our stomach needs to be capable of rejecting food stuffs that are unsuitable. Perhaps we have an allergy, or something is wrong with the food – in this case, getting it out of our bodies is imperative. However, the difficulty with reflux is that as the stomach contents move up into the oesophagus, so does stomach acid, which causes pain & can damage the lining of the oesophagus, & this most definitely IS NOT normal.
The good news is that Reflux is a symptom, not a disease & as a result, we can find the cause & resolve it, which then gets rid of the reflux.
The most common cause of reflux is aerophagia (excess air in the digestive system) & finding out why your baby is taking on air, either when they feed or through crying, etc, means that you can take steps towards preventing it. Reflux can also be caused by allergies or intolerances, or simply due to the baby’s immature gut not being able to handle the complex ingredients in their milk. As a Certified Infant Reflux Specialist, my job is to help you look at over 80 different signs & behaviours that your baby may be showing, to help us narrow down the cause of your baby’s reflux. You are the expert on your Baby, I’m a Reflux expert – together we can figure it out! If you would like to work with me, to find the cause of your baby’s reflux, so that you can take steps toward resolving it, you can make an online appointment here.