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Tips on feeding to help reduce Reflux episodes

Here are some tips on feeding to improve Reflux:

  • Feed your baby in an upright position, in other words, the baby is sitting as upright as possible to help the food stay in the stomach. 
  • If you have an overactive milk ejection reflex, where the milk gushes out, and your baby seems to choke and splutter, rather seek advice from a Lactation Consultant on how best to feed your baby.
  • An over active milk ejection reflex can make your baby more uncomfortable as he gulps  lots of milk and swallows air.
  •  Let the baby decide when to come off the first breast  before offering the second.
  • If your baby wants to feed frequently, and only takes small amounts, keep feeding from the same side each time for a 2-3 hour period. Frothy green stools can be a sign of too much volume of foremilk. But if this occurs and you are concerned, contact a  Lactation Consultant or You Health Care Practitioner.
  • A Reflux baby sometimes needs to be burped a little more often during the feed as this helps to prevent wind from becoming trapped and causing pain or the Reflux to worsen. The Chiropractic field suggests stroking your baby's back in a gentle but firm upward motion rather than patting.
  • Keep your baby upright for at least 20-30 minutes after a feed. A suggested way to do this is to carry your baby in a wrap. This will help the food to stay down and give the little tummy a chance to digest the milk and partially empty. This may seem like a long time, but is better than lying baby down too soon and then the entire feed could return with full force, and thus the cycle starts all over again.
  • Keep stimulation to a minimum for about 30 minutes  after feeding as this can increase the chance of your baby Refluxing.
  • As mentioned before a possible cause of Reflux could be Food Intolerances and Allergies, and as such it would be advisable to contact your Paediatric Allergy Specialist and Dietician to help with the process of indentifying any possible causes, and following an elimination diet.
  • Avoid over feeding by feeding your baby in smaller volumes more often.

 

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The information in this article was reviewed for medical accuracy by, Paediatrician and Allergy Specialist, Dr Claudia Gray (MBChB (UCT), MRCPCH (London), MScClin Pharm(Surrey), DipPaedNutrition (UK), PostgradDipAllergy (Southampton), Certified Paediatric Allergologist (SA))

Dr Gray works at the allergy clinic at the Red Cross Children's Hospital in Cape Town, and has a private practice at Vincent Pallotti Hospital in Cape Town, contact 021 531 8013.