Reflux

Causes, Symptoms, natural solution

Gastro-oesophageal Reflux (GER, GOR or posseting) and silent reflux are better labelled as Digestive Overload. The cause of Digestive Overload comes from unbalanced feeding practices, retained air (wind) and tongue and lip tie. When these causes are either excessive or need rectified, they push the child’s digestive system to perform tasks it isn't designed to do, creating symptoms that no newborn, or infant now have to experience. Reflux can happen at any time of the day or night, but is often seen after most feeds. Mass refluxing can happen from Day One – brought about by the air a newborn ingests from the shock when handled without security or carelessly at birth, lack of winding thereafter, and early feeding beyond a newborn’s digestive capacities.

The Oxford Dictionary defines reflux as 'the flowing back of bodily fluid.' This can be experienced as a small amount of milk, or a projectile posset which is generally of a bigger quantity and delivered with more force. All newborns posset as a normal process. However, frequent projectile or large quantities of refluxing after the majority of feeds is not normal.  It indicates feeding and winding practices need to be adjusted.

Overfeeding, feeding a newborn beyond their biological capacities and capabilities, contributes greatly to mass refluxing. These days, gravely for our young, parents are widely taught feeding practices that push the newborn and infants system beyond what it can process comfortably. Practices like ‘cluster feeding’, ‘block feeding,’ ‘early introduction, or too much variety of solid food’ and ‘frequent feeding’, which I define as feeding a baby before three-and-a-half hours, all contribute to Digestive Overload.

Parents are also told that ‘you can’t overfeed a breastfed baby,’ or that ‘newborns have small stomachs so you have to feed them often.’ But neither of these statements are actually true when we come from the perspective of biology. Additionally, we also have formula companies suggesting amounts on their products that are at times above what the child can digest comfortably at different ages. All of these things, and more contribute to the cause of reflux while creating baby and infant obesity.

Ingested wind is another catalyst for refluxing. When newborns swallow air it sits amongst and under the milk. This air pushes the milk out – with or without the wind that created the posset. The more wind a newborn holds, the more often and projectile is the refluxing. To counteract any possibility of weight loss, or believing bubs must still be hungry from their communication, some parents feed more, but unless the wind is released the problem persists. Retained wind then continues through the intestine causing discomfort and distressed communication.  The bringing up of acid is a bi-product from the overload of ingested air and overfeeding. Like us, it can make newborns uncomfortable. But it is the overabundance of retained wind left to travel through the intestines that causes the majority of distressed communication. Combat the wind and you reduce and often eliminate reflux – or what I call Digestive Overload the cause of these symptoms.

Tongue and lip ties also contribute to reflux because baby often has to adjust their natural suck reflex, which then has them taking in more air as they feed, increasing the amount of air in the stomach that can then force the milk upward.

 

Note: Some newborns, with excessive posseting and loss of weight, may have a more serious, rare issue called Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD or GERD). This rare disease cannot be healed naturally. However some babies and infants are wrongly diagnosed with this disease when they actually have Gastroesophageal Reflux (GOR/GER) which can be healed naturally through the solutions of BabyCues. If baby is spilling milk but is gaining good weight (20-25grams, .7-.8ozs a day) or above this, then they do not have GORD/GERD and my services are perfect for you, and if I think otherwise I will certainly let you know and refer you to the appropriate health professional.

Symptoms

Currently parents are taught that an immature digestive system is the cause of reflux, and it’s this that then causes acid to travel up the oesophagus which then creates the often painful symptoms of reflux. This however is not the case. Yes acid can travel up the esophagus when reflux is present but it’s one of the symptoms, not the cause of reflux. In regards to the immature digestive system. This is not a cause either. Yes, that’s right - not the cause of reflux symptoms. Most newborns are born with a perfect digestive system that functions as it should at birth. It’s us, their guardians, carers and health professionals that need to learn how to nurture alongside their gifted digestive biology, thus avoiding these symptoms of reflux…
  • 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, 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 because of the discomfort - exhibiting the ‘root reflex’. 
  • Weight gains may be at higher recommended levels
  • 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.

BABYCUES PHILOSOPHY – A REAL SOLUTION

By learning how to nurture your baby and infant within their natural digestive capacities and capabilities while understanding and responding knowingly to their full array of cues, you can provide the care needed to prevent and remedy reflux.

How I Can Help

BabyCues self-help book

A parenting book that delivers original, proven findings and practical know-how to help parents achieve natural digestive balance for their newborn throughout their first six months of life. This book is perfect if you want to learn how to nurture alongside your child’s natural digestive biology, while confidently understanding and being able to respond to their full array of cues. It will also help you to reduce, if not eliminate the abnormal behaviours of colic, reflux, lactose overload, dairy overload and inconsolable crying as it relays the natural causes of these behaviours, and steps you through the solutions.

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BabyCues online course – heal colic and reflux naturally

Book yourself in for my highly informative online course where I will share the causes and symptoms of these behaviours in depth, while also talking through the key components that will have you healing colic and reflux naturally. You will also have the chance to have your questions answered by me.

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BabyCues Workshop – heal colic and reflux naturally

Have me attend your preschool, or parenting group to talk about all things colic and reflux. Learn how to diagnose the causes, the symptoms and how to alleviate those for a baby or infant. Discover how a child’s digestive system functions in the first year of life and why understanding this, and a child’s innate baby cues, are fundamental to eliminating colic and reflux for our young.

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