If your child is showing signs of infant reflux and you’d like to discuss your holistic treatment options, please get in touch with Dr. Jamine Blesoff. She specializes in natural medicine for children and offers free 15 minute wellness consultations over the phone. She can be reached at 773-472-0560.
About Acid Reflux in Infants
Infant acid reflux is more and more a common diagnosis in babies. But is it over-diagnosed and are babies over-medicated? Infant reflux (also known as Infant Gastroesophageal Reflux, “GER”) should be differentiated from normal, physiological spitting up. Because anatomical development is still occurring in newborns, the lower esophageal sphincter is often prone to relaxation, which allows for food to regurgitate back into the esophagus. This is called postprandial regurgitation or in common terms “spitting up”.
While spitting up after feeding is quite normal in babies, some infants experience frequent spitting up, increased irritability/crying, and difficulty sleeping. These babies may be diagnosed with Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) and treated with proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) medications to block acid secretion in the stomach. This can be problematic because as mentioned before, the gastrointestinal system is still developing, including acid production for optimal digestion.
Treating Infant Acid Reflux with Naturopathic Medicine
There are mild forms/cases or infant GER that are successfully treated with naturopathic medicine. If an infant is indeed diagnosed with Infant GER there are strategies and natural medicine remedies that are safe and effective to use before resorting to PPI medication.
Some of our approaches to infant reflux treatment
- Dietary changes in breastfeeding for the mother
- Switching baby formulas
- Postural changes during and after feedings
- Nutrients and herbal support to soothe and heal inflammation in the esophagus
In extreme situations, PPI medication is the right treatment to provide relief. But this medication should not be discontinued abruptly and often a weaning schedule using natural herbs and nutrients can be helpful to support healing and continued development of the upper GI tract.