Myths

THE MYTH
Changing from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding will permanently solve feeding problems in babies with reflux.

THE REALITY
Babies refusing to breastfeed due to reflux pain may temporarily feed from a bottle, but will eventually also refuse the bottle once they realise that bottle-feeds also lead to the same pain.


THE MYTH
Babies need winding and the wind causes the pain.

THE REALITY
Babies don’t need ‘winding’ any more than any other animal newborn, or adults. Many cultures do not wind their babies, and do not have any increased rate of unsettled babies, ‘colic’ or reflux than do Western cultures. In a baby known to have reflux, it is probable that the reflux is causing the pain.


THE MYTH
If your baby/child sleeps and is settled for long periods (particularly at night), your child does not have reflux.

THE REALITY
pH studies (where reflux episodes are monitored over 24 hours) have indicated that even in cases of severe reflux, reflux episodes (particularly at night) may not necessarily wake the baby/ child. However, damage to the oesophagus over this time will still occur.


THE MYTH
Changing to a thickened formula is more effective in controlling vomiting in reflux than using thickeners with breastfeeds,

THE REALITY
Using a thickener before, during or after a breastfeed is just as effective as using a thickened formula. Karicare Food Thickener and plain baby rice are both suitable thickeners for use from birth with breastfeeds.


THE MYTH
Off-the-shelf thickened formulas are thick enough to control vomiting and reflux.

THE REALITY
Thickened formulas may not be thick enough for many babies. For these babies the feed may need to be thickened to the consistency of ‘sludge’ with either plain baby rice or ‘Karicare Food Thickener etc. and a fast flow teat used. This may seem unnatural for small babies but in reality is a very effective and safe solution.

Please note: thickeners are a valuable treatment for reflux vomiting, but may not be suitable for babies with oesophagitis.


THE MYTH
Babies that bring their knees up to their stomachs while crying have ‘colic’ or wind’ pain.

THE REALITY
Any baby will bring up its knees to its stomach when it is crying hard – this is not an indication of either ‘colic’ or ‘wind’ pain.


THE MYTH
If it is a girl it won’t have reflux.

THE REALITY
Girls get reflux too!!!! – although it is more common in boys.


THE MYTH
Once the symptoms of reflux are gone (or the child is upright and walking) they will not reoccur.

THE REALITY
Reflux symptoms may settle temporarily but worsen again if a child is ill, stressed, teething, crawling etc. It is common for symptoms (including vomiting) to come and go, particularly during the first two years of life.

For some children being upright more will be enough to reduce reflux, but for others it will continue.


THE MYTH
Reflux can be solved by upright positioning while sleeping, feeding etc.

THE REALITY
This is a management technique that helps but it is still possible to reflux. In fact, it is even possible for some babies/children to lie flat all night and not reflux at all, but to do the majority of their refluxing only while they are awake and upright.


THE MYTH
Uncomplicated reflux is a term to describe babies who don’t have obvious signs of the more serious reflux complications.

THE REALITY
‘Uncomplicated’ reflux is a term for babies who spill/vomit lots but are otherwise happy, settled, and healthy! Babies who suffer pain from reflux have a complication of reflux called oesophagitis (excessive crying and/or feeding or sleeping problems may be the only sign). These babies therefore have ‘complicated’ reflux, and if left untreated they may then go on to develop any of the more serious complications (i.e. anaemia, oesophageal scarring and strictures, failure to thrive, respiratory problems etc.)


THE MYTH.
Surgery (Fundoplication) is a cure for reflux.

THE REALITY
Just like medical treatment, surgery is merely a treatment, not a cure. Surgery can not correct the underlying cause of the reflux, and therefore, just as medical treatment, may fail at any time. It is major surgery with a long list of possible complications, which can be very severe. However, when reflux persists and presents life-threatening complications, the benefits of fundoplication may outweigh the risks. There are times when the surgery is necessary and appropriate, however, it should not be done just to avoid the hassles of lifestyle changes and medicines.


THE MYTH
Omeprazole granules can be given with milk or before a breastfeed.

THE REALITY
Giving Omeprazole granules with milk may significantly reduce its effectiveness. For best results give the granules with something acidic (i.e. fruit or fruit juice) and avoid giving close to a milk feed.


THE MYTH
Reflux is caused by depression.

THE REALITY
Reflux is DEPRESSING!!!


© Gastric Reflux Association for the Support of Parents/babies (GRASP) and Crying Over Spilt Milk Gastric Reflux Support Network New Zealand for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust (GRSNNZ) 2004. Used and edited by GRSNNZ with permission.

Page may be printed or reproduced for personal use of families, as long as copyright and Crying Over Spilt Milk‘s URL are included. It may not be copied to other websites or publications without permission and acknowledgement. This information (unedited) was also provided (by GRASP) to health professionals in New Zealand to use ” to continue to support and inform families with babies/children with Gastro-oesophageal Reflux.”

  • Hi everyone, It has been pointed out that new posts to the page by non-admin don't show up in your newsfeed. I don't want to repost them, but if you want to pop on over and share your experiences there are a few new posts from October.

  • Please do not advertise on our page. This is for sharing our experiences about Infant Reflux/GOR/GORD. If you would like us to link to your organisation or your page, please message the page. The GRSNNZ Committee will make the decision once you have provided us with information on the Governance of the Organisation, Source of your Information or your relevant NZ Health or Nutrition Qualification etc. Grumble over...

  • https://www.healthed.govt.nz/system/files/resource-files/HE2309.pdf Cool pictures, lovely mothers. Not saying that women who choose to bottle feed aren't wonderful mothers too, but this is neat promotion.

  • Hi there. Posting from the UK. Wanted to share our story to gain some more insight. We've had a really tough time. My first baby is 8 + weeks now and we've had no end of issues. She was tongue tied..snipped...but latch still a problem. She is mostly breastfed but using nipple shields. Occasional top up when i can't tolerate feeding her. She feeds or wants to feed constantly. Thought it was hunger but no different after a bottle of formula. Anyway...a friend mentioned she could have silent reflux...symptoms are constant feeding hand sucking...back arching fussing through feeds like she wants it but doesn't too. Struggles to sleep although sooo tired. Falls asleep on boob but wakes immediately after. Hiccups a lot. Sneezes a lot. Crys after feeds...weight has been slow to gain tho. Prescribed infant gaviscon...any experiences of this and is it likely to make her constipated if mostly breastfed?! Worried it feels like trial and error at her expense. She's so unsettled and we are really struggling....opinions welcome :)

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  • My 12 week old baby has reflux, currently on 5mg of losec in the morning novelac reflux formula, she also suffers with painful wind, lately she has been choking on her vomit, not sure if I should change to novo lac colic formula instead, we have tried soy and goats to which she spewed up a lot more than the ar formula, please help with suggestions , it is hugely stressful for our family

  • Cn u get formula made for babies with reflux on script?

  • I'm getting the September Newsletter ready. Is there anything anyone wants to contribute? Please let me know: https://www.facebook.com/roslyn.ballantyne.rn

  • Hi there are there any formulas that you can get on prescription or financial assistance? Pretty sure my 8 week old isn't coping with his formula that he's on. He has reflux and on ranitidine but now he has green mucousy poo so im thinking he might need some different formula? But I see specialist formulas are expensive!!

  • Hi, my 5 month old has started solids and we have been ok'd to feed these before milk as otherwise he spills most of it. He takes losec granules, which was have been giving with pear 30mins before a milk feed. Can we now just give these with his solids with milk following half an hour+ later? Or not due to the higher volume of food in his stomach so it wouldn't be digested by the time he has his milk. Thanks

  • Hi. We've used the karicare thickener in our boys bottles on top of losec and neocate to control his reflux. Now he's 4 months old I was looking at using watties rice cereal to thicken his bottles before moving to solids at 6 months. Looking to find anyone who thickens with rice cereal. Advice? Thank you

  • Argh! I don't know if I'm doing the right thing for my wee girl. We discovered her reflux early 8 days old and has been on goats milk formula for 3 months. Did it help? Hard to say but she was happy enough. We were reffered to the hosp dietician by our plunket nurse and on Thursday started neocate. Its made things worse and she seems in pain.. her poops are slimy green. We gave her a few gaviscon feeds with it to help her tum cos she seems to have a sore tummy a lot. So its Sunday, we've been on it three days but I am continually second guessing myself. Should we have seen a change in her by now. Is it normal to take a few days for the tummy to get used to it? I hate putting her through all this esp if it doesn't end up working... sometimes I just want to throw it in and put her back on goats milk... would love some advice from others on neocate or just any advice/encouragement please and thank you :)

  • Hi mums I have recently taken my daughter off losec on advise from a paed to see how she went. We didn't notice the symptoms coming back and also started solids around same time with it going great. She's had a cough and cold but is over it except this nagging cough which is day and night until she eventually throws up. My question is could the cough actually be the reflux and should I start losec again.

  • A Good News Story ... http://www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/his-gastric-reflux-stopped/

    Hi Roslyn, Thanks for the updates over the past several months. I am leaving the group as my little boy no longer suffers from gastric reflux and is also no longer dairy intolerant! FYI he was on Neocate from 3 months old and had a combination of formula and my milk until he was 7.5 months. ...