Frequent spitting up or vomiting; discomfort when spitting up. Some babies with do not spit up – silent reflux occurs when the stomach contents only go as far as the esophagus and are then re-swallowed, causing pain but no spitting up.
Gagging, choking, frequent burping or hiccoughing, bad breath.
Baby may be fussy and sleep less due to discomfort.
Try positioning baby in a semi-upright or sitting position when breastfeeding, or recline back so that baby is above and tummy-to-tummy with mom. See this information on upright nursing positions.
Ensure good latch to minimize air swallowing.
Encourage non-nutritive/comfort sucking at the breast, since non-nutritive sucking reduces irritation and speeds gastric emptying.
As always, watch your baby and follow his cues to determine what works best to ease the reflux symptoms.
Breastfeed! Reflux is less common in breastfed babies. In addition, breastfed babies with reflux have been shown to have shorter and fewer reflux episodes and less severe reflux at night than formula-fed babies . Breastfeeding is also best for babies with reflux because breastmilk leaves the stomach much faster (so there’s less time for it to back up into the esophagus) and is probably less irritating when it does come back up.
The more relaxed your infant is, the less the reflux.
Eliminate all environmental tobacco smoke exposure, as this is a significant contributing factor to reflux.
Allergy should be suspected in all infant reflux cases, up to half of all cases in babies under a year are associated with cow’s milk protein allergy.
Reflux is worst when baby lies flat on his back.