Itty Bitty Baby
|By: Kerry Bone|
|If your preemie is among the majority of premature babies
who battle gastroesophogeal reflux (sometimes medically termed GER or GERD), you are
probably wondering what you can do to ease the discomfort for your baby and lessen the
frustration for yourself. Somehow, no matter what is tried, the liquids and solids a
reflux baby consumes seem to find a way to make a repeat performance. Reflux in a preemie
has been likened to a coffee pot constantly percolating.
The medical reason for most reflux in a premature baby is due to the immaturity of the stomach entrance, which allows the food moves back into the esophagus, often just flowing back up the esophagus without being seen, sometimes being breathed into the lungs, other times appearing as large or small amounts of spit up. Either way, it tends to be very uncomfortable for your baby and they can tend to be quite fussy when this happens. A sign of reflux is your baby chewing or swallowing their leftovers that continually creep back into their mouths. You may notice that after a feeding your baby is sleeping peacefully, only to scream out randomly in pain. This is the reflux burning, much like it feels in adults when we have indigestion or heartburn.
Here are some tried and true means parents have used to combat reflux. You may find a
few that work for your child, or you may experiment with some of the ideas to find a new
|1. THROW AWAY ANY DRY CLEANABLE CLOTHES YOU OWN. You will
shed many tears when the clothes are stained for good!
2. Elevate your babys bed approximately 30-45 degrees when they are sleeping or lying in it. You can place study bricks or large telephone books under the legs of a bassinet or cradle. Or you can purchase crib blocks for this purpose (they are better designed for this job). Specially designed foam pads are now available from baby stores that fit into the crib.
3. Always change diapers and clothes BEFORE feeding, unless there is a dire emergency to change.
4. Bathe your baby 1-2 hours before any meals, and if bathing after a meal, wait at least that long after eating.
5. Feed your baby in small amounts more frequently, rather than large amounts less often. When they begin solids,avoid overfeeding, as the food can creep back up the esophagus and burn, but not always to the mouth.
6. Try nipples that advertise less air swallowed. Some good ones to experiment with are Advent nipples or Gerber 3 hole nipples. Try a variety until you find which works best for your baby. Or doctor the nipples yourself by boiling in hot water and inserting a pin or toothpick to enlarge the hole. Allow to cool and then remove the pins. Also, some parents have luck with angled bottles.
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