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. Even for the youngest baby, this is still safe.


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.”

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

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    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. ...

  • Hi. My boy is 6.5 wks. He started screaming at 3 wks. Became unsettled for periods of up to nearly 12hrs without sleep. He's been on formula as my milk never came in. He gets about 100-200 ml breastmilk /dy I pump. He started spilling/vomiting a lot at 4.5wks old.started losec 9 dys ago-frm GP. Saw paediatriciAn 4 dys ago and started amino acid formula to check for CMA. I feel things improved a bit about 4 dys after losec started. Also he seemed great once on th amino acid formula but thn yesterday was his old really bad self - fussed all day 10am-4pm thn really distressed n frantic 4-9pm. He's been ok today.i also started adding karicare thickener 2 dys ago. His first poo day after starting amino acid formula was soft n ok but I thnk he might b constipated with th thickener. He really had to push to get yesterday's out n was very sticky. Anyone else experience this? What do you do? I've heard lactulose and prune juice etc can make reflux/ wind worse. I thought about halving th amt thickener I'm using.also his vomiting better on th new formula I think but still occasional. He vomited Sunday night n mayb brought th losec up- could 1 missed dose like thts make him bad th next day like he was? Any opinions greatly appreciated

  • Please consider joining Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust for access to our Newsletters and Private Local and National Support Networks: http://www.reflux.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/grsnnz-membership-confidentiality-agreement-form/ Membership is free, and this gives you opportunities to discuss gastric reflux related issues with others in a safe and confidential setting. If you have completed a membership form previously, but never received anything further, please message me (Roslyn Ballantyne at https://www.facebook.com/roslyn.ballantyne.rn ) or comment below. The membership sign-up had been a double opt-in with a confirmation email, but as some people have had trouble with this, I've now changed it to a single opt-in. (I do still need to process applications and add you manually to your Local Support Networks though.)

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    Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ for Parents of Infants & Children Charitable Trust Membership & Confidentiality Agreement Form / Newsletter Admin PageFirst NameLast nameEmailStreet AddressCity/TownAreaPostcodeDo you live in NZ?Country and Area if not NZHome Phone (include area code)Partner's NameE…

  • Hi I'm a bit confused. I filled out th membership form on th cryingspiltmilk main page. Do I need to do anything else? I see there's a forum somewhere else - kiwi health or something? Or do I just post n use this Facebook page? I'm thnking you hav th older site but most people jst use this Facebook page now yeah? Ta :) I hav a 6 wks old beautiful boy who has been in so much pain been breaking my heart but I'm jst getting things in motion now to help I thnk. Saw paediatriciAn few dys ago n hav started losec gaviscon mylanta and amino acid formula with karicare thickener

  • Hiya, I'm starting to introduce solids to my almost 6 month old and just wondering if there are any foods that any of you have found to be better than others and which ones to avoid? TIA. :-)

  • Other information here: http://www.lalecheleague.org.nz/news-a-events/lllnz-conference-2014/312-lllnz-50th-anniversary-conference-2014

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  • Anyone want to help? I know you all have plenty to say. ;-)

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    And just in case you missed the post and the opportunity to help others through.........In five words, no more no less, share some inspirational advice to parents that are struggling with a newborn suffering from colic, reflux and inconsolable crying. If there are enough submissions I will post these on my website and perhaps in my book - Prevent and Remedy Colic, Reflux, Lactose and Dairy Overload Naturally - which is off to the proof readers this week!! http://www.naturalwinding.com/book/

  • A new story: http://www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/ryans-story-of-reflux-and-christinas-story-of-pnd/ Thank you, Christina.

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    I don’t really know where to begin with my story of Ryan and his reflux, and me with Post Natal Depression. I used to feel very sad thinking of all the precious time that was robbed from us. I loved Ryan from the moment I saw him, and he was a dream baby up until two weeks of age. ...

  • Hi my 7 week old, breastfed baby started showing signs of reflux recently so I went to the GP and was prescribed Gaviscon sachets. I'm having trouble giving it to her, but it seems to be working. She usually goes poos after every feed but since starting the Gaviscon (monday) she has only been once. She strains and cries. Not sure what i safe to give her to help as she is so young? Thanks

  • Hi there My 8 week old boy is formula fed and is now trialing gaviscon for his silent reflux, already I feel like it is making a difference but I am worried about the possible constipation the gaviscon may cause...how do you parents relieve constipation in young babies? I know about the cooled boiled water but are there any other remedies that are worth knowing about? Or tricks that can maybe help avoid constipation?

  • Hi, would you say it's a reflux symptom to bring up small vomits between feeds? Like an hour or so after eating? I keep being told that's normal, but it doesn't feel normal? My baby is only 4 weeks old though, so it's hard to me to tell what's normal and what isn't.

  • Hi, my 10 week old is trialling gaviscon to see if it helps with her (potential) reflux. She isnt a miserable baby, but she does scream if I put her down in the daytime, she has a persistent cough, a husky voice (this developed over the last week), and she spills even hours after a feed. Does this sound like reflux? If so, how do I get her to keep the gaviscon down? It says to give it to her after a feed, but she vomits straight after a feed...also is it worth going dairy free to see if this helps? Finding the spilling and coughing and husky voice quite upsetting, it must be horrible for her :(