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. 

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.

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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.

  • Any suggestions of What else I should be trying? My 4 mth old with silent reflux, is very fussy around feeding, takes small amounts, eats every three hours or so through the night still, is on elecare as of this week. Prior to that was on breast milk (dairy free) and some neocate. Is on losec at a good dose for his weight. Is constantly fussing over feeds but at the pre bed time one just SCREAMS. Is obviously hungry but on and off and screams as soon as start. Hear the reflux at the start of all this. Is pretty distressing for everyone. Feed him upright, use dummy to calm him if starts getting upset. If too much try and get him drowsy then try again. Thanks for any suggestions

  • Mission We are committed to provide support and information to parents/guardians of Infants and children with Gastric Reflux Disease throughout NZ. Actively facilitate community education in New Zealand.

  • Admin delete if not allowed. I have noticed there is no real active peer support group for silent reflux in NZ. The Australian one often has discussions on meds and treatments not available in NZ. So I have created a group which you are welcome to join. It will be closely moderated and hope it will allow parents to make contact in "real life" too. If you'd like to join search "Silent Reflux (GORD) New Zealand

  • What support (other than peer) is available through GRSN?

  • Can someone please tell me if omeprazole gets worse before it gets better? Follow up app isn't for 5 more weeks and after one week on this I am at my wits end with the ZERO sleep! Son is 14mo and his sleeping is so very much worse which I didn't even think was actually possible but just wondering if I should stop it or keep going.

  • https://whanau.skip.org.nz/behaviours/not-sleeping/

  • Hi there, does anyone know the research on whether losec as a single dose or split dose is better for infants?

  • Sarah has a question about Neocate and Elecare. Have a look at the visitor posts to page. No advice, just experiences please.

  • Has Anyone tried both neocate and elecare? Any difference?

  • Worth a look https://www.facebook.com/babocush/posts/1887748414848173

  • Hi,just wondering if anyone has a lactation consultant in Auckland that they would recommend. I have a very fast flow and birth my first child, and now my second (9 days old) have had issues with it. My first had silent reflux I believe,and now my second's behavior after feeding is following the exact same path. I'd like to see if there's anything other than laying back whilst feeding that I can do to help ease irritation that seems to be occurring. Thanks in advance!

  • This chat with Plunket New Zealand should be interesting.

  • My three month old (baby two with reflux and seems to have cmpi like my eldest) is really struggling. Has started on losec three weeks ago, is constipated (never went often anyway), and now trying to get him onto neocate (previously breastfed with ebm top ups but can't keep pumping and stressing about supply). Am trying to sweeten the formula but he's not keen so far. Anyone share experiences of getting babe onto it? Anyone for whom it actually took 15 tried to take it like website suggests? Eldest was no bother so this is new to me. Thanks :/

  • Just wondering has anyone dealing with reflux had an issue with constipation too. Our LO has had alot of problems with constipation since starting solids beginning of Jan. We've tried a couple laxatives & have had to resort to suppository's.

  • GRSNNZ would like to highlight our Site Guidelines which also cover this Facebook Page after some recent concerns. Please read. In particular: As the moderators, GRSNNZ reserves the right to remove or edit any posts: - that recommend another medication as being better or to treat conditions that it is not indicated for - that give medical advice --------------------------------------------------------------------- You are all great supports to each other. Please carry on doing this. These guidelines are to keep this Page a safe and happy place.

  • 💜💙💚💛💖

  • If you are feeling stressed these tips might be a help.

  • Hey all, I have a hard time latching my three month old, in particular on one breast. He will repeatedly pull off and turn his head to the side. Does it on the other breast too, turning head in opposite direction. Do you think this is related to reflux or something else? Sometimes think he's just not hungry but can be hours since he last ate. His weight gain has been slow. He's on lose c now. Ta for any insight!!

  • My 8 week old has suspected silent reflux, he shows all the signs, feeds non stop, putting on huge amounts of weight, will not sleep unless being upright and if he is laid down will wake after 10 minutes screaming, pulls off the breast constantly and a really clingy, high maintenance baby. I've been given gaviscon but struggling to get him to take it, I've tried in s bottle of expressed milk but were struggling to get her to take a bottle, tried it in a syringe with water but he gags, any suggestions, I'm one exhausted mumma with two toddlers to look after aswel

  • Does anyone else get so sick from this?? I have tried every tablet and nothing helps to the point I have lost so much weight and now may need a feeding tube 😴

  • #tautoko

  • Question.... my midwife suggested my baby has silent reflux and we have been on infant gaviscon but wondering if we have the right diagnosis??! How do we go about getting a proper diagnosis? Thanks 😀