Symptoms

You need to take your baby to a doctor for a proper diagnosis if you think they may have gastric reflux.


SYMPTOMS MAY INCLUDE:

  • Chronic COUGHING.

  • SORE EARS or ear infections (Most of these are viral, but in those children that have other symptoms of reflux and frequently require antibiotics for these infections, they might be due to reflux also.)

  • May be DISTRESSED during or after FEEDING. ARCH their BACK in an attempt to relieve their pain or REFUSE to FEED. Others may COMFORT FEED (gorge constantly) and be unhappy unless feeding, and therefore have HUGE WEIGHT GAINS. Most gain weight well, but a few will FAIL to THRIVE (have a slow weight gain.)

  • GAGGING.

  • CAN BE HAPPY when DISTRACTED (making the parent feel like a fraud when their constantly upset baby smiles and babbles throughout the consultation with the doctor!)

  • Frequent Hiccups.

  • IRRITABILITY – may include SCREAMING, WHINGING, CRYING, FUSSINESS and will be inconsolable at times due to PAIN. Irritability is more common during or after feeding, or when laid down. Crying may start quite suddenly especially after hiccups and burps, or may be constant/almost constant. Parents and Health Professionals may suspect colic but the irritability does not follow a regular pattern such as colic does. A baby with reflux may have colic also, which confuses matters. If you consider your baby’s crying to be excessive seek medical help.

  • OVER-SENSITIVITY to NOISE due to tiredness.

  • Restlessness.

  • Some may hold their head to one side in an unusual position to ease their discomfort – SANDIFER SYNDROME is the term used to describe this.

  • May SLEEP LITTLE and be disturbed easily when sleeping. May WAKE FREQUENTLY at night, but it is not uncommon for babies with reflux to sleep through the night due to exhaustion.

  • SPILLING or VOMITING (may be projectile, and may vomit through their nose). These may lessen as they sit up and increase when they crawl. May occur at any time including right up until the next feed.

  • DIFFICULTY SWALLOWING

  • Frequent UPPER RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS (coughs or runny noses) and/or frequent SORE THROATS. (All children have their fair share of these and most are viral, but in those children that have other symptoms of reflux and frequently require antibiotics for these infections, they might be due to reflux also.)

  • CHANGE in VOICE.

  • Chronic WHEEZING.


MEDICAL ADVICE AND HELP – More serious symptoms

If your baby has any of the symptoms on the list above in bold type please seek medical advice. Urgent medical help should be sought if any of the following occur:

  • Has difficulty BREATHING, is breathing faster than normal, stops breathing (apnoea), is grey or blue tinged in colour, is making grunting sounds when breathing, has decreased muscle tone (floppy) or decreased responsiveness.

  • Refuses to DRINK or drinks less than half of their normal fluid intake over a 24 hour day, has less than four wet nappies in 24 hours, or goes six hours without a wet nappy.

  • Has a HIGH TEMPERATURE (above 38.3°c, or if baby is under three months of age).

  • VOMITING is frequent and the baby fails to have four wet nappies in 24 hours or goes six hours without a wet nappy, becomes lethargic, difficult to rouse from sleep or if skin is mottled in colour. Vomit contains blood or coffee ground like material).

Always seek medical help if you are concerned about your child or yourself.


OTHER CLUES THAT GASTRIC REFLUX DISEASE MIGHT BE THE PROBLEM:

  • Many babies, especially very sleepy ones DO NOT SHOW any pain/discomfort until UP TO THREE MONTHS of age.

  • Reflux may be HEREDITARY (mother, father or siblings may have had/do have reflux).

  • About one third of infants with reflux will also have a MILK ALLERGY/intolerance.

  • Reflux is more common in PREMATURE babies.

  • The SEVERITY of SYMPTOMS may vary at different ages.

  • Symptoms may appear to WORSEN when the baby has a cold, virus, teething, infection, or allergies.


REFERENCES:
V.I.S.A’s “When to especially seek medical advice”.
Treasures® Baby Book
Well Child, Tamariki Ora, Health Book
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:
Rochelle Wilson (President of GRASP).

Written by Jennifer Howard (National Coordinator 2001 – 2013) and Roslyn Ballantyne (RN) (National Coordinator) for © Crying Over Spilt Milk Gastric Reflux Support Network New Zealand for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust 2004.

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.

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ shared their photo.

    Get in fast...there isn't long to go.

    If you are a Health Professional or other agency, please click http://www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/request-awareness-week-poster/ to request your National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week Poster(s). Posters are funded by NZ Lottery Grant Board and Community Post have donated envelopes. A preview of the Posters is available on the request form.

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ shared a link.

    Linkage provides a variety of services to help people navigate their way through the government, health and social service systems to find solutions that best meet their most urgent needs.

  • Hi everyone, there is a new question about Pepti Junior and reflux on the page - have a look if you have any experience. No advice please, just share experiences.

  • Has anyone found that Pepti-Junior formula triggers silent reflux? I can't see how this is possible but my toddler's silent reflux has been rearing it's ugly head for the past four months and after slowly eliminating anything that might possibly be a trigger, the only other thing left is his formula, which was prescribed around the time when everything went pear shaped again. He has recently turned two but isn't teething (I've had a good look and a feel). He was prescribed Pepti-Junior because he is dairy free so am hesitant to remove it from his diet. Has anyone else found that their little one reacted to Pepti-Junior? Thank you :-)

  • Please don't be afraid to ask for help or support. If you can't afford private help there are other options.

  • This year the National Infant Gastric Reflux Awareness Week has been renamed to include Children – National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week

    Gastric Reflux in Infants is common and normal due to immaturity of the sphincter at the top of the stomach. The baby may be a bit unsettled and may have periods of crying. Crying in a normal infant with Gastric Reflux will usually peak in the second month and settle around three to four months.[1] They may have short bouts of painful crying associated with a spill, but this crying is not prolonged. Spilling may also disturb sleep. Gastric Reflux does not need to be treated with conventional medication.

    Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) is relatively rare and occurs when Gastric Reflux causes some sort of complication usually including pain. The predominant symptom may be a high-pitched pained scream although this is not always the case. Some babies may have feeding difficulties, not grow well or have problems with sleep.[2] GORD can be managed in a variety of ways including diet, upright positioning, parenting techniques and as a last resort medications. Not all cases of GORD will need medical treatment.

    The bottom line is you need to take your baby to a doctor for a proper diagnosis if you think they may have gastric reflux and it is a problem.

    The Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust acknowledges the impact that coping with Gastric Reflux can have on families and hopes that by promoting Awareness that although Gastric Reflux is common, it is normal to feel overwhelmed when faced by all that Infant Gastric Reflux includes. Please don’t feel that you are alone because you aren’t. There are many other parents who understand.

    Most Infants outgrow Gastric Reflux as their digestive system matures, but a few continue to suffer from this invisible disability into childhood. As they get older a preschooler may develop problems with their behaviour, appear tense or be overenergetic and can’t concentrate, or have difficulty expressing their feelings.[3] School-aged children with gastric reflux are often very self-conscious about being different from other children and want to be normal. They may try to put up with their symptoms and won’t ask for help until the very last moment. They usually do not use their condition to seek attention.[4]

    On http://www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz there is more information on Gastric Reflux, National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week Posters can be ordered and the Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ (GRSNNZ) can be joined free of charge for access to our Newsletters and Private Local and National Support Networks. This gives opportunities to discuss gastric reflux related issues with others in a safe and confidential setting.

    In addition to Crying Over Spilt Milk (www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz), this year GRSNNZ launched a new website Spilt Milk (www.not.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz) recognising that many parents are coping with infants who spill and/or are irritable, but do not meet the criteria for gastric reflux.

    References:
    [1]http://purplecrying.info
    [2]http://healthinfo.org.nz/index.htm?toc.htm?12789.htm
    [3] http://www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/general/copingwithrefluxingtoddlers/
    [4] http://www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/general/gastricrefluxinschoolagedchildren/
    Excerpts from pages on http://www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz included.

    http://www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz there is more information on Gastric Reflux, National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week Posters can be ordered and the Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ (GRSNNZ) can be joined free of charge for access to our Newsletters and Private Local and National Support Networks. This gives opportunities to discuss gastric reflux related issues with others in a safe and confidential setting. In addition to Crying Over Spilt Milk (www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz), this year GRSNNZ launched a new website Spilt Milk (www.not.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz) recognising that many parents are coping with infants who spill and/or are irritable, but do not meet the criteria for gastric reflux. References: [1]http://purplecrying.info [2]http://healthinfo.org.nz/index.htm?toc.htm?12789.htm [3] http://www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/general/copingwithrefluxingtoddlers/ [4] http://www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/general/gastricrefluxinschoolagedchildren/ Excerpts from pages on http://www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz included.">

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ created an event.

  • If you are a Health Professional or other agency, please click http://www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/request-awareness-week-poster/ to request your National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week Poster(s).

    Posters are funded by NZ Lottery Grant Board and Community Post have donated envelopes. A preview of the Posters is available on the request form.

    http://www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/request-awareness-week-poster/ to request your National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week Poster(s). Posters are funded by NZ Lottery Grant Board and Community Post have donated envelopes. A preview of the Posters is available on the request form.">

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ shared a link.

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ shared Judy Arnold - Infant and child Consultant's photo.

    Tomorrow, Thursday, 10 am-11.30 is Question time. I am looking forward to hearing from you.

  • Has anyone got any dietary tips to help a 9 year old with reflux. She has had a pH probe done which shows high acidity levels, barium meal (waiting on report). She is currently on Rinitadine. She is under a paedatrician - but he is on holiday until June. Not considering taking her off the Rinitadine - but, if I could help by giving her lower acid foods that would be great. She was a happy chucker as a baby. Thank you in advance.

  • Hi all...not sure if I am allowed to do this or not, but thought this would be the best place to ask. I've had a few people tell me that I should see a cranial osteopath for my 1yr son who has reflux and is also dairy intolerant. I am in Cambridge. So would like to know if anyone has had any success with this kind of treatment and any recommendations on who to see. Thanks in advance :)

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ shared Hope For The Broken Hearted's photo.

    The Bible say laughter is good medicine. God designed us to laugh because it helps our bodies. Laughter releases endorphins, which are made in the brain and spinal column. Endorphins act as analgesics (diminishing the perception of pain) and as sedatives that calm emotions. If you're feeling sad, stressed, or anxious, watch a comedy for a little while... your brain will feel better and you will feel your spirit lift for awhile.

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ shared Judy Arnold - Infant and child Consultant's photo.

    It is that time again. Friday afternoon, 1.30-2.30 Spread the word.

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ shared Inspiring and Positive Quotes's photo.

    I had to share this one!

    Inspiring and Positive Quotes <3

  • Those walking on a similar path are more likely to understand.

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ shared Inspiring and Positive Quotes's photo.

    Inspiring and Positive Quotes <3

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ shared a page.

  • This is GRSNNZ's new additional website. It has it's own Facebook Page attached to it. We were aware that there was a group of parents who were not getting the support that they needed as although they were stressed by their situation, their babies were not deemed to have gastric reflux. Please let anyone you know who might benefit from support with others about the website and associated social media.

    Welcome to “Spilt Milk”! The aim of this website is to provide information and support for parents or caregivers who are stressed by coping with their infant who spills and/or is irritable. The hope would be that by participating with others with similar challenges and experiences, that a...

  • Hi Roz and team just to let you know we are re branding from Mothers Matter to PND Canterbury and the new website went live last week http://www.pndcanterbury.co.nz. There is a page on support for Canterbury. If there are any Mums/Dads with any questions please get in touch supportgroup@pndcanterbury.co.nz or call me on 021 131 4352 Sonya. :) I to had a reflux baby through to about 3 years so I really do get it.

    Postnatal Depression Family/Whanau NZ Trust. Our mission: To support the wellness of mothers and their familes who are suffering from postnatal depression (PND) and other related mental illnesses.

  • Jess McBrearty :)

  • My daughter was discharged from hospital last Monday, but is still very unwell. I processed all the membership forms last week (except for one that has since come in) and have finally come up for air.
    I've just turned on the phone and cleared the messages, but I only have one. I know there was at least one other from 27 February, but the phone hasn't saved it. Please phone back! I would love to talk to you.

  • The GRSNNZ 0800 number and cell phone is currently not being answered or messages cleared. I haven't had a chance to change the message on it either.
    I know there is a message there from last week I haven't cleared too.
    My daughter has been in hospital since Monday and we had several visits last week. I'll attend to the messages hopefully next week.

  • My 4 week old baby is on Ompreazole granules and we are going to start weaning him off in a few weeks to see how we go. I am considering starting him on probiotics to help this process. Can I give probiotics to a 4 week old or do I take them and he gets the benefit through my breastmilk? If I give it to him how do I administer it and what brand is best?

  • Alisha is now 3 1/2 months old, she is around 5 kg. We have had heaps of trouble with her. Put her on various medications and changes in my diet, then onto Neocate Formula with Losec Capsules. She has pretty much improved 100% from where she was a couple of months ago.

    My question is, what quantity of formula does your baby drink and roughly how long inbetween? I've been trying to give her three hours inbetween each feeding which she can manage totally fine. But when food is offered she hardly drinks much in a sitting. I can usually get 100ml of formula into her over an hour, sometimes takes me longer.

    Is this normal for a reflux baby??