Posted By Posting
Jun 20, 2010
alexasmum
Amanda
Leo - 21/2/06 - perfectly healthy
Misha - 29/7/08 - perfectly healthy
Alexa - 16/2/10 - GERD
So tired - Please Help
Hi All. This is my first time posting so I hope I do everything right. My DD is 4 months old. I began breast feeding from birth. At 3 weeks I got a terrible migraine and had to take medication that was harmful so i stopped breast feeding for 24 hours. during this time i tried Alexa on cows milk based formula and she had an allergic reaction (face rash and swelling). After that her she started showing symptoms of silent reflux and was diagnosed by the pediatrician. I cut out all dairy from my diet but do drink soy milk. She is also occasionally on soy milk formula (about once a day). She started on Zantac and gaviscon but gaviscon was constipating her so we just kept the zantac going. Her symptoms improved but she was still squirming after a feed and particularly in the night. As she got bigger we had to keep increasing the dose of Zantac. At about 2 months she was only waking once a night to feed. But at 3 months she started waking up 4 - 5 times a night. Last Friday the DR switched her to Losec (omeprazole) suspension which has been made up by a compounding chemist. She weighs 6.78 Kg and is on 8mg per day (4mg twice a day). The first day she was screaming 2 hours before her dose was due but calmed down after i gave it to her. The next two days she has been improving a bit. She seems pretty happy most of the day -but only ever sleeps for 1-2 hours at a time. She needs to be rocked to sleep each time. But at night she is terrible. She wakes 4-5 times. She settles back quite quickly either with rocking, a small feed or some cooled boiled water. She falls asleep on me and I can see that she is wriggling as though the acid is coming up in her sleep. I think this is what wakes her at night. I have a 4 year old and an almost 2 year old so am totally exhausted with not sleeping all night. So my questions are: 1. why is she such a bad sleeper - is it the reflux is worse at night or is it that she really can't fall asleep by herself with all the rocking? 2. how long does it take to see an improvement on the omeprazole? 3. should i stop breastfeeding and switch to a hypoallergenic formula. Anyone with tips on how to manage the sleepless night please let me know. I am seriously going crazy!
Jun 21, 2010
alemom
My guess would be that she is really allergic to the soy milk you both are drinking. If she is allergic to cows milk she is probably allergic to soy. Waking so often at night can be caused by her allergy, which in turn could be causing her reflux. Does she still have rashes or very liquid poop? Consider giving Neocate a try, I hated the idea of feeding my baby this artificial food but my baby improved so much! I wish I had done it before. I had the same situation, waking every one or two hours, going completely crazy... I followed a very strict elimination diet, but it didnt work. Why don't you get her a skin test done? I am not sure if she is too young... but if I were you, I would try to get what ever is upseting her stomach out quickly, so she can heal and sleep better.
Jun 21, 2010
alexasmum
Amanda
Leo - 21/2/06 - perfectly healthy
Misha - 29/7/08 - perfectly healthy
Alexa - 16/2/10 - GERD
thanks so much. I think it is a good suggestion. I am just feeling so guilty about the not breastfeeding thing. She doesn't have any skin rashes but does have runny poo. She has always had this so I just thought it was normal for her.
Jun 21, 2010
blueleopard
Pictured: G'mom w/3 kids. I'm mom to 1 angel Melissa (dec'd 11/92 - hypoplastic left-heart syn.)
2 healthy daughters (knock wood) Cory (16), Kim (11) & Eric (4) diagnosed with e.e. (scoped 8/08), GERD & severe food/seasonal allergies, asthma. Cried non-stop first 17 mths. of life Found out he is allergic to cow's milk, soy, eggs, and peanuts. Takes Prevacid, Neocate One Plus & Flovent.
My experience was some time ago, & my son is a very severe case of everything. But, honestly, if they have food allergies/intolerance the best thing you can try is something like Neocate formula. Look up there website. They have a lot of useful info. there too. My son was a completely different kid after starting it. The reflux was also helped tremendously. It took me 17 mths. of hell to figure it out, though, so I always try to help others that may benefit. Good luck, hope you can get some good sleep soon. El
Jun 21, 2010
lorenzomama
Lorenzo b.4/25/07 1 week in NICU w/ aspirate pneumonia from a reflux episode; diagnosed GERD at 9weeks; Used Zantac for 5months. Currently using Chinese Medicine and Craniosacral Therapy. GERD, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Sensory Processing Disorder. Ask me about breastfeeding a refluxer! Pic: day 5 in the NICU.
Having lived over 3 years now in a sleep deprived haze, I cannot guarantee that what I have to say will make any sense, but here it goes...

I would not immediately assume that your breastmilk is what is causing her trouble -- although I agree that if she reacts to milk, she probably can't tolerate soy either. It is very helpful to understand how sleep works when trying to figure out why it isn't. For infants and very young children, a sleep cycle generally lasts between 40-60 minutes, sometimes a bit longer (in adults, they last about 90 minutes). At the end of each sleep cycle EVERYONE has a brief arousal, and then enters a new sleep cycle. If there is ANYTHING causing discomfort or distress during that brief arousal, it can (though does not always) lead to a full awakening. Reflux (acidic or not), allergy symptoms, teething, cognitive development, scratchy tags on jammies, being too hot or too cold, the absence of sleep associations -- practically anything has the potential to draw a child out of the brief arousal and into a full awakening.

It is worth noting, too, that if your child's sleep cycle ends every 60 minutes or so, and yours ends every 90 minuted or so, you are suffering from a much greater sleep disturbance than your child if they wake at the end of each cycle and need you.

Please be aware, also, that reflux can temporarily block the airway, causing Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and it is also possible for the brain, in an effort to protect the airway, to shut down the effort to breath, causing Central Sleep Apnea. I personally believe that any child with reflux who has difficulty staying asleep, is a restless sleeper, snores or breathes loudly or gasps during sleep or seems frequently tired shortly after waking up should be screened for sleep apnea.

Finally, I opted not follow the encouragement I received from numerous sources to do sleep training and stop breastfeeding. I can't say that it has been easy, but I can say that it is the path that felt intuitively right to me. I learned to make sleep a higher priority that most other things, I learned that the human body has a remarkable ability to develop greater sleep efficiency when it reaches maximum sleep deprivation, and I learned to accept my choice even when I felt on the verge of insanity, and I learned that co-sleeping was the only way I could survive the endless wake ups (which, at that age, often topped 8-10 times per night) It is not the best path for everyone -- I believe the key is to tune into your own intuition to help you determine if you have done all that you feel you can do to improve the situation, to determine your own strengths and limits, and to explore how to best meet the highest priority needs of both parent and child(ren). ((HUGS)) to you -- sleep deprived is not the ideal state from which to make decisions, but we all work with what we get. You will find your way...

Jun 21, 2010
em sanderson
I am very new at all this as well but I wanted to say that I agree with previous post that the soy could be aggravating things. I drink rice milk instead. Also co-sleeping at night and naps in an inclined crib during the day have made a huge difference in our lives.
Jun 22, 2010
alexasmum
Amanda
Leo - 21/2/06 - perfectly healthy
Misha - 29/7/08 - perfectly healthy
Alexa - 16/2/10 - GERD
Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed helpful advice and kind words of support. I took Alexa back to the pediatrician today and he has increased her dose of losec and also prescribed motilium (yesterday she vomited the losec up and was crying most of the day). He says i should try one thing at a time and give it at least a week to see if there is any improvement. The next step would be to try her on Neocate. I want to persevere with the breastfeeding if i can but she screams everytime i put her on the breast. I have resorted to expressing and bottle feeding her which is extremely time consuming. I bought some rice milk today and will stop anything containing soy. Has anyone had this experience with breastfeeding a reflux baby? Any tips on how to get her back on the boob? She will feed from the breast at night it is just the day feeds where she is fussy. Thanks again.
Jun 22, 2010
lorenzomama
Lorenzo b.4/25/07 1 week in NICU w/ aspirate pneumonia from a reflux episode; diagnosed GERD at 9weeks; Used Zantac for 5months. Currently using Chinese Medicine and Craniosacral Therapy. GERD, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Sensory Processing Disorder. Ask me about breastfeeding a refluxer! Pic: day 5 in the NICU.
I have been breatfeeding my refluxer for over three years. There were times, when he was little, when I felt like I was poisoning him, the way he fussed and screamed, but once we got the reflux pain under control (which we did using Chinese Medicine), breasfeeding was not only no porblem, I believe that, for him, it has been a true life-saver. I strongly encourage you to visit the Mother to Mother Forums as La Leche League International www.lli.org) for tips about transitioning between bottles and breast, pumping, supply and allergies -- there are numerous forums, and an incredibly supportive and well versed group of women happy to help.

Is there any chance you have over-active letdown and/or oversupply? These can both exacerbate reflux, gas and general GI discomfort, and there are some pretty easy ways to reduce their impact.

Jun 23, 2010
alexasmum
Amanda
Leo - 21/2/06 - perfectly healthy
Misha - 29/7/08 - perfectly healthy
Alexa - 16/2/10 - GERD
Thanks Lorenzomama. I'll check out the LLI boards too. I would really like to continue breastfeeding if i can.
Check with your
doctor first!