Posted By Posting
Jan 18, 2012
tidal28
Does my 9 week old need meds??
I'm new here and hoping for some insights to help make the decision of whether or not to start my 9 week old daughter on Zantac. Here is my story...sorry if it's a little long :) Evelyn was born at term and is now 9 weeks old. I exclusively pumped until she was 6 weeks due to latch issues. At about 6 weeks she was switched to about a 50/50 combination of formula and thawed breast milk. Since about a month old she has had periodic spells where I though she was refluxing...the first at about 3-4 weeks I believe. Each time the symptoms have gotten bad enough for me to want to see the doctor about it, they would subside and I'd chalk it up to a growth spurt because she has otherwise been so content and also has been such a great sleeper at night (8 hours at around 4 weeks, 10 hours by 7 weeks). For about the past week her symptoms have really gotten worse and so I talked to the doctor about it and she prescribed Zantac. I told her I wanted to "wait and watch" a little while longer so she said to hang onto the prescription and fill it if I felt it wasn't subsiding within the next week or so. Her symptoms are fussiness, back arching and sudden crying during most feeds, spitting up fairly small amounts 2-3 times per day and sometimes more than an hour after her feeding, sour breath, persistent dry cough (with no other explanation), wet burps, frequent hiccups, very short catnaps during the day and sometimes waking in distress. I sometimes hear a sort of 'gulp' sound when she is drinking, and that is followed by her crying out in pain. We use very slow flow bottle nipples. She has frequent small feedings and rarely eats more than 2.5-3 ounces at a time, but she doesn't go very long between feedings. Her weight gain has been very good...so much so that I wonder if she has been comfort feeding despite the fact that we try to be careful about overfeeding. Here is the issue...I'm not sure if her reflux is "bad enough" to require medication, but I know the risks of not treating reflux can be serious. She is generally a very happy baby, but her feedings are becoming more difficult, and since she feeds very frequently...well you get the idea. And of course my primary concern is that she is in pain. Also, I know that babies with reflux can sleep through the night (as she does) but since it's not as common it's led me to wonder about the severity of her reflux, and if perhaps we can treat it without medications. We've sort of been down this road before. Her now 3 year old sister was diagnosed with Sandifer's Syndrome when she was 8 months old, but with her we never noticed any serious symptoms of reflux until she was 6 months (she was a happy spitter) and we introduced solids. Anyhow, that experience has certainly taught us that a "happy baby" can have reflux, but I guess I'm still looking for some advice/insight from anyone that may have experienced a similar situation. Thanks in advance and apologies for the length of this post!
Jan 20, 2012
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.
Can you elaborate on your concerns with regard to using Zantac? It might help us give you more specific feedback.
Jan 21, 2012
tidal28
I don't have any specific concerns about Zantac...I know that it's quite safe. I just don't want to use any medications unless necessary even if their aren't serious risks with using the drug, and I'm questioning how serious her reflux really is. After a very rough week-long period, she's now had a few good days so I'm more confused than ever.
Jan 21, 2012
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 had similar concerns about using medication without sufficient cause when my son was first diagnosed, and I consider it a wise concern. Here are a few things that come to mind that might be worth pondering as you try to sort it out.

Is it possible that there is a food sensitivity/intolerance/allergy at play? If so, and if she seems to be doing relatively well at the moment, you might consider trying to confirm/deny the presence of allergy, etc. prior to using medication.

You might consider keeping a journal of her symptoms and everything you can think of to observe about what is going on for her in terms of growth and development, as some babies with relatively minor reflux issues can have more significant flare ups when they are going through a growth spurt, teething, about to make a developmental leap, etc. It can be helpful to see these things written down in order to see if a pattern unfolds.

If she truly seems to be fine a lot of the time, but then seems to have flare ups, you might speak with her pediatrician about using something along the lines of Mylanta to soothe discomfort/pain for the duration of the triggering event(s).

For what it's worth, we had great success with eliminating the need for acid suppressing/eliminating medications with the use of Chinese Medicine. It has never eliminated the reflux itself (which creates a whole other host of issues for DS), but it did seem to eliminate most of the acidity issue and pain.

Best of luck to you, whatever your decision.

Jan 27, 2012
seb's mom
Lorenzomama, can I ask what type of Chinese Medicine are you using? I would like to see if I could stop Prevacid in a few months but I am terrified to not have a back up. Tidal28, I was worried about the same thing. Unfort in our case, we went on Prevacid too late and our son ended up on a feeding tube. Now we see that he is very allergic to some basic stuff like soy, corn, wheat ... that are in so many food.
Jan 29, 2012
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.
Our Chinese Medicine Practitioner uses a combination of herbal tinctures and acupressure/cranio-sacral therapy for Lorenzo. She immediately showed great skill in working with him, but as their relationship has evolved over the past 2 1/2 years, and she has come to truly see him, and our whole family, in context, the results have been amazing. One of the things I most appreciate about her, in addition to her great skill, is that she is committed to the importance of teaching me how to identify and respond to Lorenzo with techniques and herbs. It allows me to respond to the day to day ups and downs, which is so important with reflux issues, as you well know.
Jan 31, 2012
seb's mom
This is great. I am glad you have somebody like her. I wonder if I can find somebody around us like that. But it's one of those things where that person must know what they are doing and must be honest. Thank you for the information, I really appreciate it.
Feb 03, 2012
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.
Seb's mom
My pleasure. Your absolutely right about it having to be someone who really knows what they're doing, and also someone who really connects with your child and family. We went to two practitioners before finding the one we have now -- after his first treatment with her, at two years old, he came home and twice as much solid food as he had ever been able to tolerate before. I was stunned. Not all of it is that miraculous, but she has seen him through some very tough times.
Check with your
doctor first!