Posted By Posting
Nov 01, 2011
silent reflux, 3 month old
I'm new here, mom to two sons, one 3 years old, the other 3 months old. The 3 month old seems to have silent reflux--starting around 5 weeks of age, he began to refuse breastfeeding, became very fussy, cried inconsolably for hours. Since then, he's become extremely scared of BFing (due to my forceful let down, it seems) and will only nurse at night when he's half asleep. I've seen three lactation consultants to try to get him back on the boob, but nothing is working so far--not positioning, not pre-pumping, not changing where we nurse, not nursing while moving, NOTHING. So, I'm trying to pump when I can (hard to do when there's a 3 year old to watch), and otherwise am giving the baby Enfamil Gentlease formula (or the Target version thereof; we're broke). But things are just going from bad to worse. Baby has been on Zantac (2ml, taken at night) since 8 weeks old. No real improvement there. Feedings now take upwards of 45 minutes--just to get 3 measly ounces into him. He cries, burps, back-arches, screams, etc. Each ounce feels like a minor victory, but all of it is so exhausting. He ends up falling asleep after an hour of this, and then takes micro-naps because he wakes up hungry after 30 minutes of sleep. I'm getting to my wit's end. Should I ask his pediatrician for a referral to a gastroenterologist? Should I try a different formula? Should I just suck it up and wait a few more months to see if it gets better? Baby is gaining weight like a champ--his pediatrician isn't concerned about this because he's growing so well. But I'm concerned because I can't spend an hour at a time feeding this poor little dude. The 3 year old is going bananas because I'm focusing so much attention on the baby. I don't feel I can just lay the baby down and let him cry because of the reflux... Support, help, been-there-done-that--if anyone can weigh in, I'd greatly appreciate it.
Nov 02, 2011
Ryan was born May 20th 2008. 9 lbs 2 oz. Ryan’s magic bullet was 30mg of Prevacid capsules mixed with Caracream from Marci-kids (I am forever indebted to the team at Marci-kids), Claratin for the mucos, and Mirlax for the constipation. Within 2 months of this combo he jumped from the 6% to the 50% for weight and continues to climb. Be strong, listen to your instincts. Read his story for more specifics that just might help you too - Karen
So sorry you are stuggling. A couple of thoughts for you.. 1. Have you done an elimination diet to make sure it is not a milk protien intollerance. 2. Zantac is extremely weight sensitive and 3. Zantac doesn't work for a lot of kids. Many need to go to a PPI like Zegerid, Prevacid, Prilosec etc. I would start the elimination diet immediately and then see your doc to get your script changed.
Nov 03, 2011
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'm so sorry you're all having such a hard time. I don't know what is up with pedi's who think that weight gain equals no big deal where reflux is concerned. Do you feel like the pedi would be unconcerned in the face of your growing concern? If so, I would either get a new pedi, or ask for a referral to a Pediatric GI Specialist.

One of the greatest challenges I faced in trying to get doctors to take my son's situation seriously was that I spent every waking moment (which was often in the range of 20 hours or more, since he didn't sleep) doing every single thing I could think of to support him through his difficulties. If I hadn't been doing all that I did, I'm sure he would have presented as a much more severe case, and yet, what was I going to do -- stop helping my son just so doctors would take the situation seriously? Of course not. It was infuriating and exhausting. The best advice I have in that regard is, keep in mind that when you are in the presence of a physician, you are the customer and they are the service provider. Be clear and firm about your observations and your needs and desires.

I agree with Karen -- try an elimination diet if you haven't already (let us know if you need resources to help you undertake one), and talk with the pedi about switching from Zantac to a PPI (and/or a referral to a GI).

I totally understand that feeling of being at your wits end -- I think most of us here have been there, done that (and still do at times). Hang in there. Do you have any in-person support from family, friends, neighbors, etc. ?

Nov 07, 2011
Henry was born 5/12/11 at 5.8 lbs. A peanut, for sure. He was healthy and gaining weight steadily for first 6 weeks, then began refluxing through his nose. By 3 mos. he was projectile vomiting. Trying our 4th attempt at medication and desperate for a good night's sleep.
A couple of thoughts for you. 1. Yes. Go see a Pediatric GI Specialist. They know more about the meds than your pedi. Not to knock your regular doc, but there are specialists for a reason. We struggled for nearly 4 months with a refluxer and once we saw the GI doc finally found some relief. 2. I had rapid letdown with my last two and this is the great advice that I got: nurse on the same side 3-4 feeds in a row. Let baby latch on and get letdown to start. Pull him off and let the spray of milk dissipate. Once the letdown has passed and your milk is just dripping, but them back on. This keeps the milk from gushing into their mouths/throats and choking/gagging them. Also, by nursing on the same side several times in a row (aside from the lopsided discomfort you'll have), it gets them the hind milk... a heavier, more satisfying milk. It will also help get your production more under control. My 2nd child, now almost 4-years was a horrible refluxer until the radiologist who did her upper GI heard my plight and gave me a sheet about rapid letdown. My daughter could have written it herself. Once I get the letdown under control, her reflux more or less resolved itself. 3. Finally, look into Prilosec. I am a huge believer now 3 weeks into its use. You may need a high dose and you have to mask the taste to get them to comfortably take it, but we have seen SUCH improvement since being on it. Zantac is a "weak drug" according to our GI doc and not worth giving to a baby with bad reflux. Good luck! I know what you're going through and it's no fun at all. I think once you get his reflux better under control your nights will improve. Hang in there.
Check with your
doctor first!