Be an Effective Caregiver for Your Reflux Child

Tracy Davenport, Ph.D. Health Guide
  • My husband and I often brag that our son with reflux has one of the best medical teams in the country. This was not always the case. In fact, in order to get to this point, we had to kiss a few proverbial “frogs” (with warts).

    Acid reflux in babies can be a tricky affair. Face it—you may have a patient without words, living with a condition that is not completely understood, most likely taking medication that has not been tested extensively (if at all) on babies, being cared for by parents who are often times so sleep deprived and upset with the situation they can barely communicate (we notice that most of the orders for our book Making Life Better for a Child with Acid Reflux come between the hours of 12 and 5 a.m.).
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    The above volatile mix of circumstances can set the stage for everyone involved to become frustrated with the situation if a quick fix to the reflux problem isn’t close at hand.

    Physicians are only human and are susceptible to frustration just like everyone else. Unfortunately, this frustration can become detrimental to a family if the physician begins to take his or her annoyance with the situation out on the caregivers of the baby with acid reflux.

    There are some amazing healthcare providers out there who understand the intricacies and artwork required to treat a baby with acid reflux. But if you as the parent have not yet found one of these individuals, and are feeling at all blamed by anyone on your healthcare team for your child’s illness, it may be time to take your diaper bag and “get packing” to find another doctor.

    A recent quote in Time Magazine can serve as a reminder that the challenges of obtaining adequate treatment for a baby or child with a potentially complex illness is nothing new:

        “Had it not been for the internet, many of us parents of autistic children would still be watching our toddlers bang their heads against the wall while our dumbfounded pediatricians stood by telling us it’s just a passing phase. If you have reason to doubt your child’s pediatrician, your instincts are probably working perfectly.”

    If you are a caregiver, you may have to look around to find a medical professional capable of getting to the bottom of the problem and determining the appropriate treatment. Finding a physician who understands what your family is going through is not only good for your baby, but in my next blog, I’ll also let you know about a recent study that shows how an empathetic physician can also be good for your health.
Published On: September 06, 2006