Friday, March 13, 2009

How to Treat Acid Reflux in Baby

By Richal Peyton

If you're suspecting acid reflux in baby, be aware that the condition doesn't just occur in older children and adults. Any suspicion of stomach related problems in your baby should be screened and diagnosed by a healthcare specialist. Babies suffering from acid reflux will show just about the same symptoms as adult sufferers. However, it can be more challenging to treat babies since they don't tend to follow certain methods all the time and may need more assistance. Take the steps in this article to effectively treat your baby.

Step 1: Watch Out For Symptoms

Coughing, spitting, bloody stool and vomiting are the common symptoms of acid reflux in baby. You may also notice that your baby is irritable and feeding poorly. A lot of babies actually experience these symptoms in the first 3 months.

There are some cases however, where babies will show more severe symptoms of acid reflux that can last from 12 to 18 months. Few babies have acid reflux due to other complications. These include breathing problems, poor growth, blood loss and irritability due to pain. While these complications can also be symptoms of acid reflux, they can be caused by other disorders.

Step 2: Have Your Baby Screened And Diagnosed

What usually happens is that your doctor will analyze your baby's symptoms and do a physical exam before giving you the result. If your doctor thinks your child may have a more severe condition, then he or she may recommend other diagnostic tests. These include lab tests, esophageal pH monitoring, upper GI series, and upper endoscopy.

Step 3: Follow Recommended Treatment

You may be given various forms of treatment. You may be advised to continue breastfeeding to reduce symptoms of acid reflux in baby. You may also be asked to feed your baby smaller amounts and more frequently, as overfeeding tends to worsen the condition. You may also try thickening the baby formula and see if there is any improvement in the next 3 to 5 days, otherwise stop.

Step 4: Maintain Your Baby's Health

Most steps in treatment of acid reflux in babies are preventive measures. Because acid reflux mainly involves stomach acid and enzymes, the condition can always come back if you don't maintain your baby's overall health. Always try to relax your baby by feeding it in a quiet place, keeping pressure away from its abdomen, and not allowing it to do vigorous activities or sit in upright positions after feeding.

Also, it is best to feed your baby portions frequently. Also burp your baby during and after feeding. This way, you can free the air accumulating in your baby's stomach and therefore reduce discomfort. Ditch the old baby bottle for a new one if the hole in its nipple is too large. Make sure that the hole is just the right size so that milk will not flow too fast. It shouldn't also be so small that your baby will become frustrated and swallow more air. Finally, let your baby sleep with some elevation under its back (about 30 degrees).

With these preventive measures, you may be able to treat your baby's condition without medical treatment. Just make sure that your doctor is informed about the methods you're doing at home so he or she can monitor any improvement in your child and advise when treatment should stop.

About the Author:

No comments: