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Is there some type of test the doc does to determine reflux or is it just diagnosed off of symptoms? I can't decide if my baby is having gas issues or possibly reflux issues. She started being very fussy about day 2 in hospital. I'm strictly breastfeeding and she eats great but sometimes she will gag when i try to feed her on another side when i know she's still hungry. She always gets the hiccups after she eats. She doesn't spit up a whole lot but she will if i lay her down too soon after she eats (its more like milk just comes out of her mouth). She does not stay content for very long before she starts screaming. I often hear a rumbling in her stomach after she eats. There are times i may spend an hour walking and pacing the floors with her before she falls asleep. I have talked to my doc about poss gas issues and she prescribed her a med that relaxes her stomach, i really hate giving it to her because it is a schedule 5 prescrip and from what i've read about it, it can cause addiction if taken for longer period of time. I just wish i knew for sure what was wrong with her, if it's just baby fussiness that's fine and we will deal with it until she grows out of it but if she's in pain it's heartbreaking. Thanks in advance for any advice.
It is possible that it has to do with your milk flow, and not reflux (although I wouldn't rule that out either). Sometimes when babies get too much milk, too fast, they will spit up the milk right away like that. It can cause gas issues and upset stomach too. Also, are you eating dairy? It might just be a milk intolerance cauing her discomfort, which is really common.
Normally, relux is diagnosed by symptoms only. My son had an Upper GI screen (barium swallow) because his reflux was severe and he wasn't gaining weight and literally screamed 24/7. Most doctors start by prescribing Zantac. You could ask her ped about putting her on that, although I would try eliminating milk from your diet first and pumping a little before feeding her (so she is not drowned in bm) before I started meds regularly.
///...........................Lauren, wife to Jay, mom to Wesley and Ruby
I agree with your response LaurenNoel My daughter had reflux and was diagnosed off symptoms. She was on formula. She had the projectile vomiting, not wanting to take a bottle. She was a preemie and showed mild reflux in the hospital. My ped put her on Zantac and rice cereal in her bottles. It worked for us. She had a upper GI test done at about a year old because the NICU follow up Doctors thought she still had reflux. She did not. She had just took a bottle fell asleep and they moved her around and she got sick. The upper GI test did show the valve is still immature. She still has a very strong gag reflux.
I agree with LaurenNoel. It sounds a lot like overactive let down. Try pumping past let down and see if her symptoms dont improve at least a little. If they do, you can try the block feeding method. This is where you nurse on only one side for about 4 hours. Let her nurse as much as she wants to during that 4 hours, but only from one side. After 4 hours, switch to the other side and do the same thing. This helps with overactive letdown. After a few days of this your milk flow will slow down and you can continue nursing as usual.
I too had issues with overactive letdown with my DS. He was a 32 week preemie and had very bad reflux as well. He was on prevacid for 3 years. He is now 3 years 3 months old and still nurses once a day. I also nursed my 33 weeker for 2 years 7 1/2 months. Good luck to you, and congrats on sucessful breastfeeding!
The other possible culprit, especially to show up at only a couple days old, could be an oversupply. Try pumping past letdown to rule out it being simply a strong let down and if that doesn't work go see a good lactation consultant to see if you are dealing with oversupply. For that you can block feed but if you block feed without an oversupply you can see a supply reduction that can be hard to recover from. And of course eliminate dairy from your diet, if it's a dairy sensitivity you should see an inprovement in your LO in 3-4 weeks. If none of those things work then it's time to see your Pedi about meds for reflux.
Mom to 3 (1998, 2000, and 2009), step-mom to 1 (1995), two four-legged babies who bark, wife and full time student.
My days are busy, my house is messy, and my heart is full!
As far as other testing, they can do an ultrasound as well. Less invasive but not as accuarate. Its just to see how much is refluxing in a time frame. My youngest had it donw around 5 or 6 weeks old. They didn't let her eat for 5 hours before, then I could nurse her. They then watched her for 20 minutes after eating. She refluxed over 45 times in that time. and some were called Mal, which just means she refluxed past her mouth.
Thanks everyone for your responses. I do seem to have a strong letdown because she does alot of gulping at first and i can feel the milk stream down my breast when she's eating at times. Mainly in the morning hours. I have tried to eliminate dairy from my diet, i have forgot a couple times though and ate ice cream. She seems to be getting a little better, i just didn't want to put her on prescip if it wasn't neccessary.