Recognizing Acid Reflux

Normally, when you swallow, food travels down the long, muscular tube inside your body called the esophagus. The muscles in the wall of your esophagus contract from top to bottom, pushing the food down into your stomach the way they are supposed to go. Once you finish swallowing and all the food has entered your stomach, a circular band of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), located where the esophagus joins the stomach, contracts and acts like a door to prevent the food from coming back up.

Almost all babies are known to spit after having their meals. When infants consume food or milk, it goes through the esophagus to reach the stomach. At the end of the esophagus is a small valve known as the lower esophageal sphincter which opens to let out the food into the intestine and then closes. In infants, this valve opens to let out gas from the body. Along with gas, small amount of stomach fluids and acid may also come up. Although this is normal in babies, when they start vomiting frequently, it may be due to acid reflux or GERD.

You can also try positioning them at a slight incline when they sleep. You won’t want to take the legs of the crib or bassinet off the floor, as this negates the safety of the item being used. Simply elevate one end of the mattress in the crib or bassinet with a blanket or towel. Be careful not to elevate the crib mattress too much. You want the side where your baby’s head will lay to be just a tad bit higher than the other side to promote better breathing and to let gravity help move food through their digestive system.

Although parents sometimes try gripe water to ease symptoms of reflux, there’s no scientific evidence of its effectiveness. Ingredients vary depending on the manufacturer, but many versions of gripe water include fennel, ginger, peppermint, lemon balm, chamomile, and sodium bicarbonate. The World click for more info Health Organization says that giving anything other than breast milk to infants younger than 6 months may increase the risk of bacterial infection, serious allergies, and stomach irritation. If given regularly, gripe water can also create significant problems with an infant’s blood chemistry.

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