What is infant reflux? Infant Reflux a.k.a, Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when food and stomach-acid flows back into the esophagus (foodpipe), which can cause pain and discomfort. In other words, infant reflux is TORTURE for both mom and baby. :)
I thought about leaving these pictures out of our blog but when I thought about it, this was a very REAL part of Foster’s life and it needs to be documented. One reason I am now able to blog about it is because I think we are in ‘reflux recovery’ and now get to enjoy our very healthy, happy baby.
When I’ve talked to other moms, I’ve found that a lot of people deal with reflux early on. When I did research, I discovered that up to half of all babies experience reflux to some degree. I’m thinking that Emma dealt with it as well, I just didn’t realize what was going on. (Yes, I’m a nurse.)
What’s weird about Foster’s reflux is that he didn’t really deal with a lot of spit-ups (I’m thankful for this.) His reflux was just characterized by horrible, awful fussiness following feedings where he would arch his back, become stiff as a board, cry, scream, grunt, etc. He even remained tense in between feedings. Basically, when he was awake, he was unhappy. This didn’t start until he was about 6 weeks and thankfully, we finally found relief at about 3 1/2 months. I know that many families have it a lot worse and I feel for them.
I think what made the situation horrible is that we could not put him down… ever. And he would. not. sleep. ever. Made for some LONG nights and some grumpy parents.
So, what helped? I’m not sure. It could be a combination of things:
1. He slowly grew out of it,
2. Medication (we started Prevacid right around 2 months)
3. A wedge in his crib with a Tucker Sling (borrowed from a friend- THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!)
We recently removed the wedge and sling at night time and he is still doing ok.
The following pictures make me laugh NOW, but not at the time. :) Between 6 weeks-12 weeks Foster pretty much lived in his swing. It was the only place that he was content. I have to admit that there were a few nights that Foster slept in his swing. The pictures of the wedge and harness crack me up too. We have these in the hospital for babies with severe reflux. I just love the multi-colored hearts on the sling- don’t they look great on him? I know it looks like we are torturing him in these pictures but really, when we swaddled him and put him in his harness, he smiled as if to say, “Ahhh, thank you mommy, I feel much better sitting up like this.” :)
So for anyone out there struggling with reflux… please know that it does eventually get better. It’s just another phase of mommy-hood that will make you STRONGER. I can honestly say I feel more closely bonded to Foster because we went through this together.