feeding reflux baby


Registered User
My 5-week-old baby was diagnosed with suspected reflux. Since week 4, he's been coming off my breast screaming and his feeds are down from 20 minutes to 10 at best and he doesn't seem satisfied but seems to choke while drinking. He's also very gassy. I've been trying a couple of things with limited success... Have some questions and would love feedback from those with reflux babies:

1. It was suggested that the baby might be getting too much foremilk, contributing to his gas problem. So I've been feeding on only one breast at a time. There are times when I definitely have a fast letdown but even at times when the letdown is not fast the baby gags and screams. I was thinking to solve the foremilk/hindmilk issue I might express, so the milk would be a good combination. Expressing is a pain but I have to do it when I start work anyway. Has anyone tried this with success?

I am using Pigeon bottles because they fit my Medela pump and I couldn't find Medela bottles. However, I feel the flow might be too fast. The baby took 2 oz in 2 minutes... is that normal? Is there anywhere I can source nipples that are slow flow. I've heard of Dr.Brown bottles... are they available in HK?

2. I've been elevating his cot. However, not sure it's effective enough. Heard there is a pillow that fits into the cot for baby's with reflux... anyone tried this and where did you get it?

3. It was suggested that the baby might be reacting to something in my diet. It's been 3 weeks since I eliminated dairy (and that's ALL dairy... including sausages since someone told me they might have milk protein). No real change... does it make sense to go on with the dairy elimination? I was on a diet where I ate nothing but congee, a little chicken/pork and a green vegetable for a week. No real improvement in baby except my morale and milk supply deteriorated. Recently I elimated onions too for five days. Is it safe to say the baby is not allergic? Is it possible that the baby is allergic to human milk because I can't think what else he might be allergic to.

4. The doctor prescribed Takepron which I've been avoiding giving since she said it was up to me if I wanted to medicate given that my baby has been gaining weight well. However, I'm finding it too distressing watching him in pain... he's moaning even in his sleep and pretty much has to be held all the time. Not sure how my helper will manage when I go to work. Any thoughts on Takepron in terms of side effects of using on an infant?

5. We've been using gripe water, which does soothe him somewhat. But I don't think it helps with the acidity... has anyone with reflux baby found gripe water/infacol helpful?

6. It seems that many with reflux babies switch to formula. I'm resisting this but I may have to anyway if I can't pump enough. My baby seems to have trouble pooing - he has one massive poo a day after some struggling. For those who switched their baby to formula from breastmilk, any constipation issues?

Whew... those are all my questions. Looking forward to hearing from mums of reflux babies. Thanks in advance!
I have a reflux baby well she recovered once she was about 10 months old.
Dr Brown bottles were great - you can get them from B2B in fact I had such as fast flow that in the end I poumped and bottle fed as my baby seemed to be more comfortable that way.
Infacol drops after meals plus holding upright for 20 min after each feed for a god burp
Raised cot (we just used books;)
Losec - we went down the medicated route and it worked great - she was clear of the worst symptoms after around two months
No diary and coffeine in my diet
When switched to formula ( at 7 months) we used Pepti Junior as it was partially hydro;lised so easier to digest
My paed recommended bfeeding as long as possible as it supposed to be better for reflux babies.
Good luck - it does get better - most bubs are out of it by the time they are 1 year old. I do feel for you as I remember watching in tears my baby going bllue with screaming after each feed.
You didn't mention if you went to see an osteopath ?
My son had silent reflux and it was pretty severe... till I went to IMI. Dr Bradshaw gave me some homeopathic treatment, and 4 ostheopathic sessions. It made wonders.
Good luck !
Both my sons had reflux (my little one is now 7 months old) so I completely sympathise. My first son had a combination of reflux & colic and my second the pukey type of reflux. I really recognise your descriptions of feeding. I don't think gripe water or infacol make any difference at all. Our doctor prescribed Zantac which was hard to get down him because of the horrid peppermint flavour but worked like magic. We then moved on to Nexium when the Zantac stopped working which he took easily and also worked really well. By 4 months he'd pretty much grown out of it the reflux I started solids pretty early, controversial I know, but I did it really slowly and it helped him keep stuff down. One of the many midwife type people I consulted suggested that Enfamil AR formula might help - but rightly you are persisting with breastfeeding. I found it too stressful and stopped when he was around 6 weeks. There is a specialist reflux site in the UK which sells the pillows but I don't think they ship here (I got my mum to send it) - I was never sure if that helped much. To be honest medicine was the only thing which helped. I was really happy with my doctor's advice as he tried the weakest thing first and only progressed when that stopped working. I don't know anything about Takepron but he definitely would not prescribe Losec as he said that was too strong for babies. I think Frenchy's idea of an osteopath is definitely also worth pursuing.
I had a reflux baby as well. My son was on baby zantac since he was 3 weeks old and we stopped his meds at 6 months. He was probably spitting up an oz after each feed but he was a happy spitter. He wasn't crying or screaming in agony. Although he was gaining weight, he was light weight weighing in at 5 lbs at birth so I was stressed out trying to fatten him up so I opt to medicate him. The meds definitely made a difference.

After each feed, I would hold my son upright for at least 10 mins so that the milk would settle in his stomach.

When administering zantac, the meds should be administered according to their weight. So if their weight increase, the meds would increase too in order for the drug to work.

Taking 2 oz in 2 minutes shouldn't be a prob. Maybe your LO's sucking reflux is strong and he eats very efficiently.
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Thanks all... I really appreciate the tips. I got the Dr. Brown's bottles today. Frenchy, I'm open to the osteopath route but my husband isn't convinced. He doesn't like the idea of someone touching the baby's head. He isn't convinced of medication either... because our doctor said it's up to us since the baby is gaining weight and he's concerned about side effects. But I'm tired of seeing my baby continuously distressed, even in sleep.

Would still love to hear from anyone who has used Takepron... also known as Prevacid.
Well, if your baby feels better after 3 or 4 treatments, maybe it would convince your husband. The osteopath will release the muscles behind the neck which are linked to the stomach, and cause reflux when they are too stressed.
It's very soft and very efficient.
Maybe I'll try sending him a few threads from here. Just to clarify, does the osteopath work on the skull or the neck area?
To what I remember, he works on the base of the skull, and sometimes a bit higher, so the whole skull moves properly. Might sound impressive, but it's not at all.
I just wished I started earlier with my son when he was a baby, as I have spent some time at the hospital with him, or waking up 20 times a night to make sure he was breathing properly.
Medicines will help release the symptoms, but they don't stop the problem.