Mom Christy: Hi, Dr. Sears my twins are born with acid reflux and after switching formula they were doing really well for a while but the last couple of weeks have started spitting up again. I’d like to know if you have any recommendations other than putting them on a prescription.
Dr. Sears: As many as seven million American children suffer from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. GERD we call it and for twins five-month-old twins, Eliza and Derek that means a lot of sleepless nights for mom Christy. doesn’t it?
Mom Christy: Absolutely.
Dr. Sears: But what is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. I’d like to call it reflux. Basically, it’s heartburn, right? It’s when the stomach isn’t developed enough so the contents of the stomach, the food formula whatever just comes up and causes heartburn, it’s painful.
Now the nice thing about reflux is babies almost always grow out of it by about 12 months, so it’s nothing we’re going to worry about too much because what we know it’s going to get better but we want them to be happy and not in pain. So are they sleeping okay?
Mom Christy: Not really.
Dr. Sears: Night waking is a big symptom of reflux pain. If they’re fussy a lot after feeding, if they’re arching their back a lot, that’s a big sign that my babies in pain and I want to do something about it. Now, you would ask about a prescription.
Mom Christy: That’s what I’d like to avoid.
Dr. Sears: Now one thing, I have a lot of babies have reflux. It’s pretty so common. I think you have reflux myself and the acid we do as sure as we use are really safe and they’re very gentle. I have even three nieces go on this stuff so it’s not the end of the world to go on a prescription for reflux. We know they’re going to outgrow it so it’s not forever. It’s only for a few months so that they’re happy because if the baby has reflux their stomach is not happy. It hurts they’re not going to want to eat. They’re not going to grow very well. Are you breastfeeding or formula?
Mom Christy: Formula feeding.
Dr. Sears: Okay if a mom is breastfeeding and the child is having reflux I look up mom’s diet. Sometimes if mom takes dairy out, soy, nuts sweet, some of the more common allergy foods that can help if the baby is having reflux. If you’re having formula simply thickening the feedings with a few tablespoons of rice cereal in each eight ounce bottle that can help just thicken feed just enough so it stays down, prevents it from coming up.
Also, now are these guys happier if they’re held upright.
Mom Christy: Yes.
Dr. Sears: That’s a big thing. Now I’m going to have you hold Elisa here so when you feed them, try to feed them upright. Also sleeping if you elevate the head of the bed, if you elevate the head of the bed with some few towels, you’re trying to go for about 30 degrees here just do it kind of like that, that just gives a little bit of an incline and back in health.
Now, as pediatricians we always tell parents have your babies sleep on your back but sometimes if the baby has reflux they’re going to be happier on the stomach.
Mom Christy: She definitely is happier on her stomach.
Dr. Sears: But that goes against what we say sleep on the back so you're going to want to talk with your pediatrician about these guys in particular to see if it’s okay if they sleep on their stomachs.
Mom Christy: Okay.
Dr. Sears: All right. And if your doctor wants to have that prescription I go for it because it’s safe, and it’s going to keep them a lot happier until they outgrow this.