Subject : Help!!! Unhappy baby
Thanks for contacting our organisation, and congratulations on the birth of your beautiful little girl! Well done on getting her diagosed so early, as that is sometimes quite a difficult feat in itself.
I'm not surprised that the Zantac unsettles her- it tastes really bad, and I don't know that there is any way of disguising it!!! Are you able to get it so that it avoids most of her taste buds? are you able to get it down via the side of her mouth, or perhaps in the teat prior to a feed? (I don't think it matters if it is given close to a feed, but it would probably be best to check that too) Perhaps you could talk to the doctor about how much trouble you are having, as they may be able to suggest other options. I'm not sure if it would help, but you could ask whether it would be suitable to use dispersable Zantac; or alteratively there is other medications that might be worth trying- Losec tablets, losec in a suspension, or zoton suspension, so there are some other options at least, if you can't get her to take the Zantac without distressing her.
I can definitely understand your concern about giving your young bub all the medications, but when they are so uncomfortable, we would do just about anything to help them, I know. Try not to be too hard on yourself, as you are only trying to do the best by her, and it is really hard on all of you to see her so distressed and miserable.
Have you noticed any changes in her since you started using AR formula? It is great for some refluxers, but not for all- ad for some it can make them more unsettled. Do you think it may have constipated her? That can sometimes cause a lot of wind too, and can also cause more reflux. That may be something to talk to the dr about if you aren't sure.
It sounds like you are doing a great job, and I gather she is your first child? It is not such a great introduction to parenthood, as having a 'healthy' baby can be a huge learning curve, but a reflux baby is something else again. Are you getting any support through all this? It is really important that you look after yourself too, and that you try to get a break once in a while.
It's great that you are keeping her upright while feeding and afterwards, and that you are carrying her in the sling during the day. Are you making sure she doesnt slump while she's in the sling, as that can put pressure on her tummy, causing reflux.
There are some other things that you could consider, though I really believe it is important that you also trust your instincts. I'm sure you have lots of people telling you what you should or shouldn't be doing (especially if that is what worked for them)- but mostly they don't realise that refluxers can be so differnt, and what works for one may not work for another. It does often depend on trial and error, and for you to do what you feel comfortable with (in conjunction with the dr of course).
Other things that might help are-
- giving her slightly smaller feeds, slightly more often- to try to ensure there isn't a lot of pressure on her tummy
- avoiding tight nappies or elastic waistbands for the same reason
- offering her a dummy if you ar happy with that idea, or perhaps a clean finger to suck on- many refluxers seem to have the need to suck a lot, and it can be really beneficial for them as well.
- try to get her into a good routine if possible (may not be possible, but if managed, can help get the reflux under control, Even being overtired can flare reflux, making things worse)
One other thing that came to mind, is cows milk sensitivity. Do you think that might be a possibility?? Approx 40% of reflux babies suffer from cows milk allergy or intolerance, and avoiding dairy can sometimes make a huge difference. Soy may be worth trying (after you have spoken to your doctor), but about half of all bubs who are sensitive to cows milk are also sensitive to soy.
There are other formulas available that your doctor can prescribe, and for some babies, it can make an enormous difference to them. If you go back through the notes, you may see how often it comes up, and how often it was a turning point for the family.
It isn't always the answer though, so there can be no guarantees unfortunately.
I hope that information helps