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What to Know About Infant Reflux

May 3 2022

Our hope is to help people recognize when infants, children and adults are experiencing gastroesophageal reflux disease-related symptoms and to encourage them to consult with a health care provider. In fact, infant reflux is one of the top reasons that families reach out to our providers.

“Infant reflux affects almost all families one point in their parenting journey,” Morgan S. Allen, PNP-PC, MSN, RN, at Bon Secours Pediatric Gastroenterology Associates, shares. “As a provider who focuses on infant reflux, I hear the difficulties parents have with managing their baby’s reflux. In our pediatric GI office, we can sit together and review what exactly infant reflux is and different ways we can cope so you can enjoy your sweet baby!”

Infants are particularly prone to reflux, as they spit up a lot, and it can sometimes be very challenging for families to manage the symptoms. In addition to regurgitation of infant breastmilk or formula, infant reflux symptoms can also include irritability, excessive crying, back arching and a lot of laundry. More serious issues regarding reflux include excessive vomiting, poor weight gain and decreased oral intake, which require further investigation by a health care professional.

Causes of infant reflux can include:

  • The fact an infant’s diet is solely milk-based
  • Certain feeding positions
  • Feeding techniques
  • Immature function of the lower gastro-esophageal junction

Treatment for infant reflux tends to take a conservative approach and includes:

  • Management of a feeding schedule
  • Potentially thickened feedings
  • Possible formula changes

As always, if a mother is breastfeeding, we encourage parents to continue as the goal is to support their breastfeeding journey.

Bon Secours Pediatric Gastroenterology Associates specializes in the diagnosis and management of routine and complex gastrointestinal, liver and nutritional disorders of children. Our board-certified physicians and team members provide personalized care, work closely with each patient, family and referring physician to determine the best treatment plan for our patients.

Learn more about the pediatric digestive health services we offer at Bon Secours.

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