Severe and persistent crying, sleeplessness, vomiting and difficulties to nurse... are the signs that infant uses to tell his mother that something is wrong with him and that he needs her to intervene and sometimes consult a doctor.
But in recent years, pediatricians around the world came to a conclusion that some of the afore mentioned symptoms are caused by GERD. And what is GERD? It’s a digestive disorder caused by a dysfunction of the sphincter separating the esophagus from the stomach, and resulting in stomach content moving backward to the esophagus and inducing baby to vomit, cry constantly, have colic and insomnia, and refuse to breastfeed.
In most cases, acid reflux is associated with the incomplete development of infants’ digestive system, as some of them get better six months after birth, while some others outgrow their issue when they’re one year old.
Unfortunately, there are no effective treatments for GERD. However, there are ways and methods to soothe a baby suffering from this condition, and protect him from any possible side effect on his lactation, until his digestive system matures and his symptoms disappear.
And when it comes to breastfeeding a baby with GERD, it doesn’t differ much from breastfeeding any other normal infant, except that it requires from the mother additional attention and great ability to analyze and solve any urgent problem that may arise.
If your baby has GERD and suffers a lot from his condition, and you’re wondering about the best way to help him, here are some important and efficient tips for your reference:
- Breastfeed your baby at small and close intervals so he would be able to properly digest the quantity of milk he gets from each feed.
- Try to breastfeed your baby while he’s in an upright position.
- Make sure that your baby latches on your nipple correctly, as proper latching can reduce the amount of air he ingests with every feed.
- Wait for your child to stop nursing from one breast before switching to the other.
- Don’t forget to burp your baby during and right after the breastfeeding session.
- Avoid shaking your baby in a rough and fast way after breastfeeding, and make sure you keep him in an upright position for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Don’t expose your baby to cigarette smoke and other environmental factors that may negatively affect his condition and make it worse.
- Avoid putting pressure of any kind on your baby’s tummy and make sure to dress him in loose-fitting and comfortable clothes.
- Add some grains to your milk after expressing it in your baby’s bottle, as it’s difficult for thick food to leak backwards from the stomach into the esophagus.
In addition to these tips, we advise you to take good care of your daily nutrition and abstain from consuming dietary sources of caffeine, as experiences confirm the greatest influence that breastfeeding mothers’ diets have on their babies.
And above all, do your best to stay positive and keep your morale high, and always remember that acid reflux and vomiting happen to all healthy children who need extra time to grow and develop. And before you know it, your child will get older and outgrow his problem!
Read More: Should I feed My Baby At Will?
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