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The medical term for reflux is gastro-oesphageal reflux or GOR. 

This term is used when baby brings up milk & stomach acid following a feed. Most babies will have some dgree of reflux due to the immaturity of the muscle band at the end of the food pipe (lower oesphageal sphincter). This muscle keeps the food in the tummy. This is why when baby is full they can 'possett' (bring up a small amount of milk), when being winded/burped.

Stomach acid can cause burning & discomfort in the food pipe. This can be painful & cause baby to become irritable during & after a feed.

Silent Reflux is when your baby isn't vomiting regualarly, but is still very uncomfortable & distressed. 

Signs & Symptoms

  • Vomiting with either no pattern or regular timing.

  • Arching back.

  • Gagging/choking.

  • Refusing feeds.

  • Only takes mall feeds.

  • Fussing,crying, restless.

If these symptoms are alongside the above you should see your GP:

  • Chest infections.

  • Poor weight gain.

  • Feeding difficulties.

  • Discomfort lying flat following a feed.

  • Signs of anaemia.

Ways To Ease Reflux

  • Baby Massage~We cannot directly massage the Vagus nerve which is responsible for the Oesophageal Sphincter, but we can stimulate the nervous system through massage. Evidence shows that baby massage helps to lower cortisol levels (the body's main stress hormone), which helps to calm baby. 

  • Frequent, small feeds may help prevent baby's tummy becoming too full.

  • Keeping baby in a more upright position during a feed & for at least half an hour after a feed can help to reduce reflux, using gravity to keep the milk down.

  • Trying to keep still as possible & quiet after a digested a feed. Bottle fed babies may need longer periods to settle  because formula milk is digested at a slower rate than breast milk.

  • Avoid tight clothing around baby's tummy, as it can make reflux worse due to increased pressure on the lower oesophageal sphinctur muscle.

  • Give thought to how you travel with your little one. When baby slumps & slouches over this can add pressure to the tummy causing pain & discomfort, increased duing reflux episodes.

  • Gentle movements may help. Sling or carrier or being pushed in a pram. Baby will feel more relief when in a carrier during the day & you will also relax. Try different slings/wraps/carriers to see which work best for you & your baby.

Image by Lucy Wolski
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