Babies often bring up milk during or shortly after feeding – this is known as possetting or reflux. You can give the extra milk by cup, syringe, spoon, or a nursing supplementer (a device that allows supplements to be given through a tube while the baby sucks at the breast or on a parent’s finger). You don’t her explanation have to use an artificial nipple. Some breastfed babies will refuse a rubber nipple. Very young babies can become nipple-confused if they are given rubber nipples. This means that they try to use their bottle-feeding technique on the breast. This doesn’t work, and they have to be re-taught how to breastfeed.
Many families choose to keep their breastfeeding baby in bed with them to make nighttime feedings easier. This can mean more sleep for the entire family, not just mother. Many women can fall right back to sleep after their baby begins to nurse. A recent study found that babies who sleep with their mothers nurse almost three times as often as do babies whose mothers are in adjacent rooms. This can be a real help in getting a reluctant nurser to eat more. Night-nursing may also help to soothe the baby who wakes frequently. You’ll get more rest by nursing this baby in bed than you would getting up to walk him back to sleep.
Sore nipples can be a problem for a mother who is breastfeeding regardless of whether her baby has reflux. When the baby is on and off the breast as frequently as most babies with reflux are, many mothers do get sore nipples. Two factors usually cause sore nipples: incorrect positioning at the breast and poor latch-on. Pay close attention to these every time you put the baby to breast. If you are unsure that your technique is correct, have someone help you. Your local La Leche League Leader or a friend who has nursed a baby are good choices. Using Lansinoh® for Breastfeeding Mothers can relieve pain and help your nipples to heal. (See listing at the end of this booklet.) Expressed milk applied after each feeding can also help.
It is important to get as much help and support as possible for your family when going through the stresses of dealing with an unhappy baby. It is very easy to become so involved in the care of the baby that the outside world disappears. The whole family may suffer when a baby has reflux. Moms and dads are on an emotional roller coaster, and they may not be getting much sleep. Brothers and sisters not only have to cope with having a new baby in the house, but this baby gets so much attention that everyone else’s needs may take a back seat.
Parents can consider a number of options for treating their baby with reflux. Positioning the baby to be as upright as possible as much of the time as possible is usually recommended. Thickening the baby’s liquids with cereal is often recommended for even the very young baby. Doctors may suggest that a nursing mother eliminate certain foods from her diet. If none of these measures makes a difference in the baby’s condition or the baby continues to be unhappy and suffers further health problems, the next step is to offer medications to reduce acid and help the stomach to empty faster. Surgery is a last resort, reserved for babies who show no response to other treatments and who have dangerous complications of GER.