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.”

  • http://www.jpeds.com/article/S0022-3476%2813%2901596-5/abstract?elsca1=etoc&elsca2=email&elsca3=0022-3476_201405_164_5&elsca4=pediatrics

    The Journal of Pediatrics, Volume 164, Issue 5, Pages 959-960, May 2014, Authors:William Tarnow-Mordi, BA, MBChB, DCH, FRCPCH; Roger F. Soll, MD

  • Hello - wondering if you can help, my now 5 year old had silent reflux, my 5 month old also has reflux, I saw a specialist in Auckland for my first child but cannot for the life of my remember his name - do you have a list of specialists in Auckland? Many thanks Misty

  • Hi :) just starting my five month old on solids , any foods worse or better for reflux sufferers ? She is quite constipated from losec and gaviscon so also foods that aren't constipating

  • We only have six members in our Hawkes Bay GRSNNZ Local Support Network on Facebook. If you are coping with reflux and living in this area, we would love you to join us. http://www.reflux.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/grsnnz-membership-confidentiality-agreement-form/

    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...

  • A large randomized controlled trial has shown benefits of probiotic treatment in an unselected general population of neonates.

  • hi there, im desperate for help. my wee girl is 5 weeks old and has always been unsettled from birth. At first she was constipated and in pain so paed put her on pepti junior and after no improvement added lactulose syrup for bowels. She has a bowel motion now only every 5-6 days so not ideal. over the passed few days she has got alot worse, fussing at feeds, acidy smelling breath, after finishing bottles she squirms in pain, cramps up like a banana, screams/cries etc. she doesnt spill ever and winds pretty well. Clearly something is still not right but have seen 3 paeds and all havent considered silent reflux?? i feel silly going back again but i know they are missing something, could it be reflux?? thanks Nicole

  • I have been reading your website, thank you, it's helped me a lot. 5 weeks with a very unhappy baby is extremely difficult.

  • Do you live in Northland, New Zealand and have a child with gastric reflux? We would love you to become a member of the Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ and join our latest Private Facebook Group - for the Northland GRSNNZ Local Support Network. We currently have five families who would be grateful to have contact with others in the Northland area and share their experiences. We have Local Support Networks throughout NZ and set up Private Facebook Groups as requested. We already have Yahoo Mailing Lists for each region, but many prefer Facebook. To join complete a membership and confidentiality form: http://www.reflux.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/grsnnz.../ Membership is free, and this gives you opportunities to discuss gastric reflux related issues with others in a safe, private and confidential setting. You will also get access to our newsletters.

    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 there, I was on your website reading that doctors should prescribe the Losec granules instead of the suspension. Does this apply for 2 month old babies as well?

  • I am hijacking this photo. #gastricreflux

  • Hi, I am interested in people's opinion on advice from a dietician re my 13 month son who has reflux and lower GI issues, both currently well managed. I have posted before: he's on a restricted diet - no dairy, soy, gluten as well as a random no tomato/potato (latter done by me without paed knowledge following nasty flare up). He is still bf and not a great solids eater - picky, limited finger foods only, no mush. He is small (prem, lbw) but not at all underweight for size. He is on iron supplement (formerly anaemic) and trying to wean off losec. Dietician wants us a) to go on to neocate advanced and b) to reintroduce gluten. Neither of these sit well with me. I ate non-GF oats and small amount non-GF pasta yesterday - now I have an unsettled boy stretching and groaning after a month of calm. Coincidence?? Re neocate - is it really necessary to give him this or can I find the iron and vitamin boost elsewhere? He hates the taste and doesn't eat porridge/mash/stewed fruit to mix it into. The dietician really p***ed me off for her manner and lack of knowledge of son's history (in spite of having met before) and I don't trust her judgment. Thoughts? Sorry long post. Thank you for reading.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTHhWf_hGJI

    Pyrosis RGO mécanisme