Here is my tuppance w'th!
Re the reflux ... as I understand it, all babies reflux and most regurgitate. What we call 'true reflux' is actually quite rare - 1 in 300 babies - and the symptoms are :- not growing well, vomiting [that is : HEAVING as opposed to posseting] up old blood which looks like coffee grounds and sometimes coughing and wheezing due to 'spilled' vomit into the lungs. These same symptoms can be caused by many other things and need to be sorted out by a doctor.
HOWEVER, there is NO single test that can determine if the problem is 'true reflux'.
The many tests include - barium X-rays, endoscopy, biopsy etc. Also, Intraoesophageal pH monitoring Though this test cannot tell you if the symptoms are due to reflux either, it can tell you how often and for how long the stomach contents come up into the throat - and you can see if the baby's apparent distress coincides with the reflux.
The acid 'burn' we know happens in adults and older children, luckily, rarely occurs in the 0-4 month stage and is not common up to 12 months of age. I have found that this doesn't stop doctors advising +++, that mums give their babies mylanta, and the like! with absolutely NO testing!!
Even when it is decided [after many, many tests!! ] that a baby is suffering 'true reflux', there is currently NO MEDICATION THAT WILL STOP REFLUX. Though there are antacids, they hardly seem necessary, unless acid burn has been proven absolutely. THICKENING MILK has never been proven to be effective either - in fact some believe it actually can be HARMFUL to the baby. As always it is wise to use caution when considering giving a baby anything other than breastmilk in those first, vulnerable 6 months. Breastmilk is the best for any baby and in particular for the 'true reflux' baby - as it is digested more quickly than formula.
The only reassuring thing is that statisics show that 50% of 'true reflux' babies have lost all symptoms by 10 months - but though most have 'recovered' by 18 months of age some do continue after that .. on second thoughts, maybe that is not so reassuring ..??
Even exclusively breastfed babies can have allergic reactions to the proteins in mother's milk. Dairy is often the culprit. If the reflux is not simple regurgitation [the 'happy spitter' type baby!!] it may be worth while getting bub allergy tested ...
BUT DON'T GIVE UP THE BREASTFEEDING! Your baby's short, & long, term health depends on it!
Keep up the good work!