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Reflux is when a baby brings up milk, or is sick, during or shortly after feeding. This can often become very stressful when your child stops growing or when they are bringing up all their milk. We can help and provide practical solutions! 

How a dietitian can help ; 

Check if your baby has reflux

Reflux usually starts before a baby is 8 weeks old and gets better by the time they're 1.

Symptoms of reflux in babies include:

  • bringing up milk or being sick during or shortly after feeding

  • coughing or hiccupping when feeding

  • being unsettled during feeding

  • swallowing or gulping after burping or feeding

  • crying and not settling

  • not gaining weight as they're not keeping enough food down

Sometimes babies may have signs of reflux, but will not bring up milk or be sick. This is known as silent reflux.

Treatment for reflux in babies

If your baby is formula-fed, you may be given:

  • a powder that's mixed with formula to thicken it

  • a pre-thickened formula milk

If the thickening powder does not help or your baby is breastfed, a GP or specialist might recommend medicines that stop your baby's stomach producing as much acid.

In very rare cases, surgery might be needed to strengthen the muscles to stop food or milk travelling back up.

This is usually only after trying other things or if their reflux is severe.

Causes of reflux

Reflux happens because muscles at the base of your baby's food pipe have not fully developed, so milk can come back up easily.

Your baby's muscles will develop as they get older and they should grow out of it.

Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) in infants occurs if reflux is severe and occurs with other symptoms such as failure to gain weight, distressed behaviour, difficulty swallowing and unexplained crying.

It should be noted that GOR and GORD is more common in premature babies and those with neurological disorders as they could have some problems using their muscles and nerves.