What are the symptoms of reflux?
After decades of clinical research I have come to realise that Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER or GOR) is actually better known as Digestive Overload, the underlying cause of reflux that is formed by unbalanced feeding practices, retained air and tongue/lip tie. The Digestive Overload behaviours are:
- The release of small or large amounts of milk – spilling or projectile.
- Varying textures of milk – clear or cottage cheese.
- Habitual swallowing of the burp (often called ‘silent reflux’).
- Irritability, grizzling, inconsolable crying, screaming.
- Bloating (hard distended stomach) cramps, excessive gas.
- Heightened communication around and during bowel motions from excessive wind passing through the intestines, frequent frothy and/or explosive bowel motions, or constipation.
- Wakefulness from discomfort with episodes of longer periods of sleep, but the latter is often from exhaustion through crying and lack of sleep rather than feeling comfortable.
- Frequent searching for something to suck - exhibiting the ‘root reflex’.
- Weight gains may be at the lower recommended level.
- Arching backwards or sideways, writhing, wriggling.
- Pedalling legs.
- Gulping their milk, seeming very hungry while being restless – sometimes refusing to feed, pulling off the nipple or when bottle-fed, having flailing arms and legs with much turning of the head because of digestive discomfort.
- Hiccups - a newborn's natural reflex for releasing ingested air. The more overloaded they are by wind, the more hiccups they experience.
- Blueness or darkness around the mouth, which will come and go. This can be visible above the top lip, under the bottom lip, or both simultaneously and can sometimes spread as far as the bridge of the nose between the eyes. This sign of wind is present for all newborns because all experience natural levels of ingested air. It becomes more prominent as wind accumulates to overload levels.
All of the above symptoms can be healed naturally, without medication, by learning how to nurture alongside a newborns innate digestive function. This includes feeding and burping well, which may seem too simple a remedy but there are many aspects to consider in this. Some of these are but are not limited to:
- feeding in accordance to the child's stomach size
- not feeding frequently
- not cluster feeding
- not feeding from both breasts in one sitting thus avoiding the symptoms of lactose overload, which often contribute to the diagnosis of reflux (unless this is necessary to maintain breastfeeding because supply is low)
- being mindful of breastfeeding diet
- being mindful of formula choice and formula ingredients
- bottle feeding alongside a babies natural rhythm
- burping your baby after every feed in accordance with their age
If you would like to know how to change the care practices above, and stop the Digestive Overload symptoms that are listed, so your infant no longer has reflux, please feel free to purchase my self-help BabyCues book below in either eBook form or paperback. I also offer worldwide consultations if you would prefer an individualised plan. This is highly recommended if you baby is on acid inhibiting medication.