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How To Understand Breastfeeding Reflux




Even in healthy babies, as much as 50 percent of them may suffer from breastfeeding reflux at some point in time. Breastfeeding reflux can easily be remedied as long as mothers know what to do about it and how to deal with it. This should not be a major concern since it comes naturally. But of course, you might need to consult a physician if the symptoms are severe. Things that you can do to deal with breastfeeding reflux may include the following:

  • Feeding position

    – when feeding your child, make sure that he is in an upright position. After each feeding session, hold your baby upright for no less than 30 minutes to avoid or help reduce breastfeeding reflux. Also, avoid moving them too much after feeding to allow gravity to aid with digestion.

  • Clothing

    – do not make your child wear tight clothing as this could only make his reflux worse. Make sure to change diapers before feeding your child and not after being fed, and leave a little space so that the diaper is not fastened too tightly.

  • Feeding process

    – make sure to allow your child to take all the time he or she needs when nursing. Do not rush the feeding session.

  • Overfeeding

    – do not feed your child in one long session without pausing to let him or her burp. It is a lot better to nurse several times per day and allow your baby to burp during and after each meal. Also, make sure not to feed your child right before bedtime, as this can cause reflux when you lay him down to sleep.

  • Thickening formula

    – if your pediatrician thinks it’s a good idea, you can offer your baby thickened formula that is specifically designed to help with reflux.

  • Burping

    – when feeding your child, make sure to allow him to burp every after meal or after downing a few ounces.

  • Food choices

    – as a mother, if you are to breastfeed your child, make sure to watch out for your diet. There are certain foods that you eat that could make breastfeeding reflux worse. As much as possible, avoid consuming foods that may cause gassiness and stomach irritation for your baby. Hot, spicy foods and rich greasy foods that give you indigestion may also give your baby indigestion when they are passed along through breast milk.

  • Pacifiers

    – allowing your child to suck on pacifiers after a feeding session can help them increase saliva production. Saliva is alkaline and can be very helpful in neutralizing acid to prevent excessive spit up.

If you find that your baby is very fussy after meals, or is refusing to nurse, it may be a sign of a more serious problem. You should always speak with your baby’s pediatrician in order to get the most accurate diagnosis. Never change your little one’s feeding routines or habits without first discussing the problem with the doctor. Because there are other medical conditions that can mimic the symptoms of reflux, you should always get a firm diagnosis from a reliable professional.

Once breastfeeding reflux has been identified as the problem, any of the tips above may prove helpful. You may also want to keep a food diary in order to see if there are any foods you eat which trigger the symptoms when your baby nurses.

As mentioned above, almost all babies may experience having a reflux at some stage, particularly during the first 3 months, and most babies can overcome such condition by themselves. By simply following the tips stated above, you can help your child reduce the reflux when you are breastfeeding or feeding your child breast milk from a bottle.


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