Jan Gambino Jan Gambino's Blog

What is a Reflux Mom?
Reprinted from The HealthCentral Network, www.healthcentral.com/acid-reflux

First there was the Soccer Mom, the focused and dedicated mom driving her minivan full of young soccer players. If you watched any network news this summer, you know there sure was a lot of talk about Hockey Moms. Two years ago when I wrote my first blog on The HealthCentral Network Acid Reflux Connection page, I started my blog by saying, “Hello from the Reflux Mom”. So what is a Reflux Mom anyway?!

A Reflux Mom is a mom who unexpectedly finds that her beautiful baby or child has a digestive system that doesn’t quite digest food and drink as gracefully as the other babies and kids in the neighborhood. Worrisome digestive symptoms lead to a visit to the doctor and a medical diagnosis of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. Unlike Soccer Moms and Hockey Moms who sign on to this extra curricular activity, Reflux Moms become members of this elite group by necessity, not choice.

Being a Reflux Mom doesn’t define who I am but it has shaped my approach to mothering. As a Reflux Mom, I face reflux every day. Parenting is a serious business and I take a no nonsense approach. That means that I advocate (sometimes fiercely) for my children and I am well informed about their medical issues. At the same time, the intense caregiving needed to sustain them has resulting in spending so much more time with my children compared to parents of non refluxers. As a result, I can read them like a book and we have a very close relationship based on trust.

I think there are stages to becoming a Reflux Mom. Certainly the early weeks and months are filled with frustration and exhaustion. As time goes on, a Reflux Mom may experience anger and isolation. Over time, the Zen Reflux Mom emerges: she faces reflux squarely every day but she lives in the present tense and lives in the moment. Even if the moment is filled with spit up and doctors appointments. She may even find herself thinking: this Reflux Mom stuff is pretty hard but I wouldn’t change a thing. I have met some amazing people, found some inner strength and we have all weathered the storm together.

Soccer Moms, Hockey Moms and Reflux Moms all have one thing in common:
We would do anything for our children, we will cheer them on until we are exhausted and our voices are hoarse and no matter what, we will lift them up when they are down.
Oh yeah, we might also have a mini van full of extra gear and snacks. I don’t know of a Reflux Mom uniform yet but I imagine it will need to be 100% washable. Maybe an oversized sweatshirt in a color that doesn’t show formula or spit up stains as easily? Let me know if you have a logo or design in mind.

Copyright 2008: Jan Gambino


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