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Treatment Options

  • Alternative, Natural and Complementary therapists have success in treating Infant colic and Reflux. Some of these include; Homeopaths, Craniosacral TherapistsKinesiologists and Chiropractors. Such therapists should not take the place of your regular healthcare practitioner, but rather work together to get the best possible outcome.

       

  • Natural remedies  have also been successful in helping relieve gasReflux and Colic. There is not much proof that they work in general, but some babies do respond. Discuss these with your healthcare practitioner

       

  • Pharmaceutical medication - usually with anti-acid treatment- can be the only option for some babies with severe Reflux. Speak to your Health Care Practitioner about what they recommend.

     

  • Should the Reflux be possibly related to Food Allergies and Intolerances, contact a Paediatrician that specialises in Allergies. This is often the case if the baby does not respond to standard measures, or has other symptoms such as eczema or constipation.

      

  • Baby Massage can be very calming and relaxing for colic, fussy and Reflux babies. The massage is not only calming, but it is believed to stimulate the vagus nerve which increases peristalsis, which helps digestion. Make sure you know what you are doing before you start. I recommend a course, or failing that, a good book on baby massage. Massage according to your baby's response. If they are clearly not enjoying it, stop and try again another time. When massaging - do it away from meals so that baby's tummy is not too full, and try and keep her at a raised angle by placing her on a lift wedge or lifting her with pillows. Reflux babies are seldom comfortable being placed flat on their backs. Just make sure they don't roll off the raised surface.

      

  •   If you are Breast Feeding, consider a short trial of avoiding foods that are spicy and acidic (for example citrus fruit and tomatoes), gassy foods (such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, peppers and broccoli) as well as caffeine, chocolate and alcohol. For an example of an elimination diet, the one on the Dr Sears website is very useful. Do not start a very restrictive diet without seeking the advice of a Dietician or Nutritionist. Remember that if the diet makes no difference to the baby's symptoms after 1-2 weeks, do not continue it unnecessarily.  

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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.