Heartburn is a burning feeling in the chest caused by stomach acid travelling up towards the throat (acid reflux). Your baby may be more likely to have reflux and to spit up when their stomach is too full. Increasing the frequency of feedings while decreasing the amount at each feed will likely help. Breastfed babies may benefit from a change in the mother’s diet Some studies have shown that babies benefit when mom restricts her intake of milk and eggs. Formula-fed infants may be helped by a change in formula. A less-full stomach puts less pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES is the ring of muscle that prevents food from going back into the esophagus from the stomach. Pressure on this muscle causes it to lose effectiveness, allowing stomach contents to rise into the throat. LES strength takes time to develop over the first year, so many infants naturally spit up often.
If your baby has a more-serious condition such as GERD, he or she might show signs of poor growth. Some research indicates that babies who have frequent episodes of spitting up may be more likely to develop GERD during later childhood. Like any operation, there are some risks to this surgery. Talk about them with your child’s doctor. She can help you decide if it’s the right treatment for your child. AskMayoExpert. Gastroesophageal reflux disease. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2018.
In the meantime, if you’re formula feeding, you could try giving your baby his daily allowance in smaller, more frequent feeds. You could also ask your health visitor for advice about using a thicker formula, which may be easier for your baby to keep down. Always speak to your health visitor first before trying thicker feeds, in case she can suggest a better way to help your baby (NHS 2016a). For example, your doctor might recommend surgery if lifestyle changes and medications alone haven’t stopped your symptoms. They might also suggest surgery if you’ve developed complications of GERD.
The following treatments and advice may be offered if your baby appears to be in distress or their reflux has a specific, identified cause. According to a recent review , GERD-related symptoms are more common in people with IBS than the general population. The incisions allow access to the top portion of the stomach (fundus) so it can be wrapped around the bottom us of the esophagus. This helps to reinforce the sphincter and prevent acid from coming back up. Many medications that are used to treat acid reflux are safe to take during pregnancy. But in some cases, your doctor might advise you to avoid certain antacids or other treatments. Learn more about the strategies you can use to manage acid reflux in pregnancy.
Changing the foods your infant eats may help reduce the chances of acid reflux. And if you breast-feed, making changes to your diet might help your infant. Pregnancy can increase your chances of experiencing acid reflux. If you had GERD before getting pregnant, your symptoms might get worse. All this information will help your doctor to work out whether your baby needs to be referred to a specialist for extra care, tests or treatment (NHS 2016a, NICE 2015a). pH probe. Your child will swallow a long, thin tube with a probe at the tip, which will stay in his esophagus for 24 hours. The tip measures levels of acids in his stomach. If your child has breathing problems, this test also can help the doctor tell if they’re the result of reflux.