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Reflux Relief: 18 Ways to Ease Pain

Reflux relief measures ease your baby's discomfort and pain and make your reflux living manageable. Visit Reflux section to learn about reflux condition, symptoms and complications. Here is a list of reflux relief measures to try:

  1. Switch to short but frequent feeding sessions. Smaller milk amounts fit better in the stomach and take less time to digest.
  2. If your baby started solids already, give him/her a spoon of thicker food before breastfeeding. If your baby is bottle-fed and is eating solids already, slightly thicken formula or milk with baby cereal. Stomach holds thicker fluids better.
  3. Some babies are uncomfortable when lying flat, some do just fine. For my son lying down was the only comfortable breastfeeding position during his reflux. If the baby is lying flat, it makes it easier for stomach contents to start reversing. However, for many babies it is better than being in a bent half-seated position. The bottom line – be flexible. Try your baby’s usual position. If that causes pain try the lying down position. Your next alternative would be a raised position, when your baby is lying straight, but the head is slightly raised. A 30-degree angle should do the trick: it is harder for the food flow to travel uphill. More on positioning here.
  4. We worked out an ideal position with my son. I was holding him and walking around slightly lifting the arm which held his head. Walking while breastfeeding soothes the baby, raised head position relieves GER.
  5. After the feeding slowly pick up your baby and carry upright for 20-30 minutes. No rapid movements. No raising your baby’s legs to change a diaper. No active playing. Just smooth and slow.
  6. Dress your baby in looser clothes. Pressure on the stomach may cause reflux.
  7. Keep in mind that some reflux symptoms are an allergic reaction to something in your milk. Talk to your doctor. He may recommend trying an elimination diet. Visit Allergies section to read more.
  8. Some reflux cases require medications. Do not ignore it if your doctor prescribes one.
  9. Do not leave your baby crying during reflux. First, due to safely concern in case of vomiting. Secondly, excessive crying leads to muscle tension and causes even more reflux.
  10. Do not overfeed your baby. Overfilled stomach is more prone to reflux. This is another reason why you should continue breastfeeding. Breastfed babies rarely overeat. Trust your baby. Enough is enough – don’t force.
  11. Treat spitting up as an enough-for-now sign.
  12. Burp your baby often during and after the feeding.
  13. If you have too much milk, your baby may be swallowing it vigorously and with it swallowing a lot of air. Taking care of your oversupply may relieve reflux. Visit Oversupply section to read more.
  14. Raise your baby’s mattress a little, so that his/her head is higher than the rest of the body.
  15. Sphincter valve is located on the right side of our body. Therefore, holding your baby so that his/her right side is higher that the left, or putting him/her on the left side to sleep may help.
  16. Feed your baby before he/she is extremely hungry. Hungry babies tend to gulp a lot of air during the feeding.
  17. If you should supplement with a bottle, make sure the nipple flow is right – neither too fast nor too slow. Your baby will nurse leisurely and happily when the flow is right.
  18. Babies prone to reflux are more comfortable lying on their back. When placed on the stomach they try to lift their head, which causes muscle tension and may cause GER.

Important: Reflux-prone baby’s environment should be 100% smoke-free. Even second-hand smoking is detrimental.

Breastfeeding through GER may be challenging and frustrating. You may need to pump some of your milk to maintain the supply. You can then supplement with your own milk using one of the feeding techniques. Avoid bottles. Visit Nipple Confusion section to read more about supplementing. Whatever you do – find your baby's reflux relief and do not give up breastfeeding!

There are many ways to show your love and devotion to your kids and to win their trust. Breastfeeding is the most natural one.



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