After your bundle of joy is born and everything has settled down some mothers experience a sudden unsettling of their infant. It can be quite distressing when they are diagnosed with Reflux.
There are 2 types of Reflux:
Where acid rises from the gut into the throat of the infant
Where an infant regularly vomits up part or most of a feed.
Its normal for a child to vomit a small amount of milk and usually doesn’t affect the infant at all. However if the infant also shows signs of the following it can sometimes signal that they have reflux.
Spitting up milk during or after feeds (in part of whole) several times a day
Refusing feeds, gagging or choking
Hiccups or coughing
Excessive crying, and/or crying during feeding
Frequent ear infections
Blocked nose not from a cold, worsening when laying down
Loss in weight
Arching back during or after a feed
Drawing their legs up to their tummy after feeding
How wearing a carrier can help Reflux?
Firstly wearing a child upright helps to keeps acid down with the aid of gravity. It isn’t normally suggested you wear a child in cradle position, so you can be sure most sling will help to keep baby upright.
The other benefit to being upright is it expedites the transition of food from stomach to bowels, which means less vomiting or acid coming up and less of the associated crying and pain for the child.
The likelihood of an infant aspirating milk through Reflux is higher if the child is laying flat, so being upright in a sling helps to reduce this happening. Aspiration is where food, secretions or liquid is inhaled. Which can lead to serious complications, such an pneumonia.
Good positioning from a carrier that has a wide seat will help to increase successful winding thus reducing full feed vomiting in babies with classic Reflux.
Being close to the parent helps the infant to feel happier longer and can help to reduce the needs for ‘snacking’ that Reflux infants often do when in discomfort. By increasing the length of time between feeds you reduce the bouts of Reflux an infant may have. The motion of the wearer will help calm an infant in the throes of an attack quicker and the warmth of a tummy to tummy position will help to ease any associated pain.
Its worth noting that when using a sling with a child with Reflux, it is a good idea to avoid any movements that will jiggle the contents of the stomach. Movements such as gentle swaying or walking helps to turn on the calming part of the infants brain and will help to reduce crying significantly overall.
Wearing an infant in a carrier helps parents with a Reflux baby get on with life, hands free. It allows them the opportunity to actively help lessen the symptoms. Whilst still being able to do the everyday things that can be hard when holding an unhappy infant in-arms.
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Have you struggled with reflux and used a carrier to help? Tell us your story in the comments below.