Acid Reflux In Babies
After weeks and weeks of crying after eating and spitting up constantly, my first child was diagnosed with acid reflux. The initial news was disconcerting. It was my first baby, and of course I did not want him to be in any pain or diagnosed with any sort of medical complication. Our pediatrician reassured us that acid reflux is quite a common condition among babies and with some treatment; he wouldn’t even feel any of the side effects.
Acid reflux is when the contents of the stomach, including both acid and food, work back up into the esophagus sometimes causing pain and discomfort. Sometimes this causes vomiting or a burp that contains some of the acid and/or food. In babies, it is difficult to tell this is happening, as it is quite common for babies to spit up. If a child spits up or vomits often, and it is accompanied by crying, arching of the back or poor sleeping habits then the child most often is diagnosed with acid reflux. It is true that acid reflux is common in babies, as their muscle closing off the stomach from the esophagus is often not completely formed yet.
Treatment of acid reflux usually includes taking some medication. Often it is recommended to take some over the counter liquid medication, such as Mylanta. Of course, it will be in a very small dose through a dropper because of the child’s size, but it generally is helpful in lessening the discomfort. If this does not seem to be enough to calm the acid reflux symptoms the doctor may recommend taking a prescription medication such a Prevacid or Zantac. These medications help to stop the production of acid in the stomach, and therefore there is less acid to work back up into the esophagus.
One year later, my first son had outgrown his acid reflux and was doing quite well. After the birth of my second son, I knew what symptoms to look for and brought some concerns to the pediatrician. He, too, was diagnosed with acid reflux. Both of my sons were treated with a combination of Mylanta and Prevacid, and both were not in any obvious pain or discomfort while being treated. Their sleep patterns regulated, they spit up much less, and their overall demeanor was much more pleasant. Each outgrew their acid reflux and are now happy and healthy with no side effects.