What is Gastric Reflux

There is a ring of muscle at the top of the stomach. This is a valve, which should close when feeding has finished. When a baby has Gastric Reflux this valve doesn’t close properly. The contents of the baby’s stomach (food and digestive acids) are brought up/regurgitated. These contents come up the oesophagus and may be vomited or spill out through the baby’s mouth. The acid can burn and may cause the baby discomfort and/or pain. Adults often refer to gastric reflux symptoms as indigestion. As the child matures so does the valve/ring of muscle at the top of the stomach. Generally speaking, the more upright the baby is the more the reflux decreases. By the time the baby is walking reflux will often have disappeared. In some cases it will improve over a longer period of time. babyGRDiagram1 Gastric reflux in infants is common, and most infants have some degree of reflux at birth. Babies often spill a little after feeding and this is quite normal. Most babies feel full and contented but a baby with Gastric Reflux Disease (gastric reflux that causes problems) is often uncomfortable and unhappy. Not all cases of Gastric Reflux Disease will need medical treatment and there is a move away from prescribing by many Health Professionals unless there appears to be significant pain, severe complications, growth issues or difficulties feeding. Surgery is generally only considered if Gastric Reflux Disease is not able to be controlled with medication. Reflux is variable and unpredictable. Some days may be much better than others are.

Some babies vomit up part of every feed. Sometimes this continues for several hours, and may cause the baby discomfort/pain.

Some babies rarely vomit at all, but their feed will come part way up their oesophagus and then go back down again. This may cause pain.

Click below for:

Gastric reflux terminology

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.  Updated February 2014.

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 added a new photo.

  • My 17 month old son has just been put on ranitadine. The pharmacist said it needs to be away from foods with iron and calcium. He needs it 3 times a day and im insure how to do this around the restrictions. How have others done it?

  • After advice/recommendations about private paediatricians. We are in the Waikato and are desperate to see someone privately about our four month old who suffers terribly with reflux. Happy to travel (I.e. To Auckland) and don't care what it costs. We really just need to get him proper help. I can't stand to see him in such excruciating pain every feed (and most of the time in between feeds!)

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ added a new photo.

  • My 3.5 yr old daughter has terrible reflux blisters in her throat and at 8 months old had a fundoplication which resulted in a pitched nerve now her reflux is back don't know what to do

  • It's Oral Health Month and Plunket shared this article in their recent newsletter: http://www.plunket.org.nz/your-child/1-2-years/health-and-daily-care/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-children-s-teeth/ To add to this, did you know that some children's toothpastes do not have the recommended amount of fluoride in them?

  • Had anyone had any experience of their child having hiccups whilst asleep? Please see our visitor posts.

  • My 2.5 year old appears to be hiccuping in his sleep. Hasn't done this in years. Was feeling he'd had too much dairy building up. Anyone else get this? It's so weird he seems totally asleep....

  • Isn't this the cutest baby ever? One of our Trustees has been amazing with sharing her photos.

  • Bec has posted a message to the page - look under visitor posts - after having weaned her child off medication. Does anyone else who has done this have wise words to share?

  • Hi. My son is just over 18months. I slowly weaned him off his reflux medication. Wondering what are symptoms to look out for to know if he needs to go back on medication. He seemed fine while weaning. But now he wakes during the night, has hiccups regularly plus a few other symptoms. I'm just not sure if it's reflux or just the cold months. Any advice would be fantastic. Thanks!

  • First in a series from our recent slideshow. :-)

  • Hi - has anyone gone private for a gastroscopy and if so who did you use? I stupidly cancelled ours at the start of the year when I felt things were improving (only lasted 2 weeks!) they didn't take us off the list but they pushed us to the back of the list and to date we have still not even been given an indication of time. We have health care but the paediatrician at the hospital had originally said the public system was the best avenue as the person doing it is a gastroenterologist and would have the most qualification on what they are looking at/for. Would love to hear from anyone else that went private / who through and how did they find it?

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

  • So we have tried losec but our 7 wo daughter has got worse, went back to the doc who told us to take her off it now, so what now? He wants us to try nasel drops for a week to clear out her nasal passage. I assume this rules out reflux as such as points more to severe wind? Has anyone dealt with losec not helping them/making the problem worse? We burp her plenty and often get wind but the second she lays down she screams the house down. If we are lucky her and us get 3 hrs sleep over a 24hr period, I'm surprised by the doc how relaxed they are about it when it's mentally crippling us both and the lack of sleep for her can't be doing much for her.

  • For Canterbury families:

  • Does anyone know if a baby can have losec and infacol? Not at the same time but during the same day.

  • Hi I was just wondering if there is a support group or page on Facebook to chat with other people? Thanks in advance.

  • #canvacup #gastricreflux #gor #gord #infant #baby #gastricrefluxsupportnetworknz #cryingoverspiltmilk #child #family #reflux #tautoko #tamariki #whanau

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ shared David Wolfe's video.

  • Do you use screens for distraction and have sleep issues with your child? It might be a good idea to not use them for an hour before bed time at night. It could also pay to explore lighting in the room for an hour before bed, and in the bed room during the night and for any night time wakings. Even digital clocks and nightlights are too bright for some.

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ shared Purple Clover's photo.

    ... However, it is essential to have some "you" time. Even just 5 minutes for half a cup of tea. ;-)

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ shared Brainwave Trust Aotearoa's photo.

  • Sorry to anyone who has tried to join using the Join GRSNNZ tab on Facebook. I just realised it wasn't connected to MailChimp. All sorted now. The alternative and probably better way of joining though is to go to: http://www.reflux.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/grsnnz-membership-confidentiality-agreement-form/

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ updated their cover photo.