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GER stands for gastroesophageal reflux. It's more commonly known as acid reflux.
It's estimated at least ˝ of all babies are born with some degree of reflux due to immaturity of a valve (lower esophageal sphincter) found at the lower end of the esophagus. If it's functioning normally, the valve opens just long enough to allow food to leave the esophagus and enter the stomach before it closes again. If the valve isn't functioning as it should, it doesn't stay closed and therefore the stomach contents (as well as stomach acid) come back up the esophagus. This can be very painful for our little ones.
Some babies are "happy spitters" and require no medication or treatment of any kind. When the reflux requires treatment, it is then referred to as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
Most babies outgrow it by the end of the first year. Approximately 3% will never outgrow it and will continue to experience symptoms for the rest of their life.
That's reflux in a nutshell. Hope this has been helpful.
What are some of the solutions? Sitting up for 15 minutes after feeding (and burping)? Medications? It sounds like most grow out of in a year.. do doctors take this very seriously? (Sometimes they can downplay a baby's comfort level, YKWIM?)
What are some of the solutions? Sitting up for 15 minutes after feeding (and burping)? Medications? It sounds like most grow out of in a year.. do doctors take this very seriously? (Sometimes they can downplay a baby's comfort level, YKWIM?)[/b]
Different doctors say different things. I was told to elevate one side of my baby's mattress to let gravity do its job, to keep him upright for 30 minutes after each feeding, burping every ounce or two, taking Prevacid once a day (some babies get Zantac 3 times a day, depends on the baby), and we are on Enfamil AR which is regular Lipil formula thickened with rice starch. The starch forms into a ball in their tummy and helps to keep the food and acid down. Our doctor takes it pretty seriously, thankfully. If I had a doctor who downplayed my baby's pain, I would switch doctors.
We tried all the conservative treatments first. For us, those included feeding smaller amounts more often (with frequent burping), elevating the crib mattress, keeping him upright during feedings and for at least 30 minutes afterwards, and adding rice cereal to his bottles of EBM. We saw absolutely no change in his symptoms so that's when he started the medication.
There are 4 types of medication that can be used: antacids (like mylanta, maalox), acid blockers (zantac, axid), proton pump inhibitors (prevacid, prilosec) and prokinetics (reglan). Since they all work in different ways, what works for some babies may not work for others. Sometimes it takes a combination of different meds to get the best results.
In more severe cases, surgery may be required.
Also, my son's reflux was aggravated by his milk protein allergy. So he is on a hypoallergenic formula for that reason.
Our doctor didn't take it seriously at all. She always dismissed it as gas or colic. That's why we switched to a new ped at 3 months. We're very happy with her.
I just wish we had switched sooner! He was seeing our family doctor at first. DH and I had been seeing her for the last 5 years or so and had always been happy with her. I think this was just beyond her expertise. I wish she had just admitted she was clueless. It would've saved us a lot of time and my baby could've been treated much sooner. DH and I also switched doctors as a result of this.