National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week 2016

The Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ promotes National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week each year from 31st May to 6th June.

The theme for 2016 in keeping with the summary of the Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ’s mission is:

Tautoko, Matauranga me te Whakamana i te whānau me ngā tamariki

Support, Education and Empowerment for families and their children 

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.  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.  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. 

Did you know the Gastric Reflux Support Network also provides support for conditions associated with gastric reflux?  In particular we have Support Networks for EoE/EGID and Laryngomalacia which may often (but not always) be misdiagnosed as gastric reflux or co-exist with gastric reflux.  Neither of these conditions have formal support groups of their own in New Zealand.

Last year we had several stories shared during Awareness Week and I’ve included one here.  Please note the impact of GORD on the parent who wrote the article.


The moment you first get handed your child says it all, it sets the scene for what is your future, or at least that’s how it felt for me. My daughter seemed to come out fighting, boxing gloves and all, ready to attack this world; and as it turned out the burning inside her was literal.

Reflux seemed such a dirty word, whenever I spoke it people’s faces seemed to either screw up in pity or provide an expression of disbelief. The ‘stigma’ was the worst. Everybody seemed to either know it all and offer their advice which only seemed to judge and I felt like I was doing it all wrong, or they didn’t understand and shrugged it off as a non-issue so that I was made to feel as if I was making it all up. ‘Surely my baby wasn’t really ‘projectile’ vomiting, I couldn’t have possibly seen blood in her spills and of course there was no way she cried for hours and hardly slept’. The lifeline was an online community where my story seemed to ring true; and in the rare people who did understand from their own experience.

O’s GORD was severe. I felt like I was drowning. We worked hard on sleeping from the start and though I felt like we weren’t getting anywhere at the time, it really paid off in the end. Little miss independent had to deal with it on her own sometimes and developing some sleep independence was crucial for her because having a routine and knowing what was happening and when was her ‘safety blanket’. I researched everything and felt like I tried everything. She would cry anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour every night to get to sleep and if she woke screaming in the night it could take 2 hours to get her back to sleep. We were expected to just manage. We skimmed the line of ‘healthy weight gain’ but only because I was determined not to let the reflux win and did everything I could to make it from one day to the next.

There were many times I felt like I wanted to be the one to sit on the floor and ‘throw my toys out of the cot’. The hardest moment was when I realised I had forgotten to enjoy and have fun with my baby. The day when you hear them chuckle with another person and you realise it’s the first time they have laughed, ever and it wasn’t with you.

But, we found a way through and there were happy memories too. Those are the ones you remember more that the worst.

View the original #‎NationalInfantandChildGastricRefluxAwarenessWeek 2015 Story 3

© Erika, GRSNNZ Member and Crying Over Spilt Milk Gastric Reflux Support Network New Zealand for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust June 2015


As we approach National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week, let’s think about how we can Support, Educate and Empower whānau.

Tautoko, Matauranga me te Whakamana i te whānau me ngā tamariki

On 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.  https://www.facebook.com/cryingoverspiltmilk/app/100265896690345/   This gives opportunities to discuss gastric reflux related issues with others in a safe and confidential setting.


If you promote National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week on a website, please let us know by posting a link to our special Awareness Week Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/NationalInfantAndChildGastricRefluxAwarenessWeek/ or contact us and we will promote your article.

On this page you will also find guidelines for the promotion of Awareness Week.  In brief we ask that National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week is not used to promote a product, business, health professional or treatment; that you  please include a link back to our Facebook Page or website https://www.facebook.com/cryingoverspiltmilk or www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz;  and that an association is not implied between www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz / Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ, and another website or business.  Full guidelines can also be found here.

Written/Compiled by Roslyn Ballantyne (RN), National Coordinator for © Crying Over Spilt Milk Gastric Reflux Support Network New Zealand for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust May 2016.