Confused? You are not alone!
If your baby has just been diagnosed with Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), this is the place to tell your story or ask your question. I know you have many questions and you may be confused, especially if you have just spent a few hours on the internet searching for information before you landed here. It is likely you have read some pretty alarming information about reflux gone wrong and terrible complications.
You may have read about different terms used to describe “reflux”. Infant reflux, acid reflux or acid reflux disease may be other terms you have heard. I sometimes get carried away and use the term “reflux” interchangeably for both GER and GERD. Doctors use Gastroesophageal Reflux or GER to describe the normal physiological event of food backwashing from the stomach into the food pipe. GER occurs in infants, children and adults on a regular basis. It is not a disease and it does not need medical treatment. Babies are especially good at GER because they eat mainly a liquid diet, are more reclined night and day and their digestive system is not as mature to deal with all of this. A few babies and many adults have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD. GERD describes a pattern of frequent backwashing that causes damage or consequences such as poor growth, poor eating, respiratory complications or damage to the esophagus. There is much information on medications and treatments for GERD and it may seem that all babies have it. In reality, it is likely your baby has GER rather than GERD. A baby with GER will need extra caretaking and support to guide her toward a more mature pattern of digestion but not medication. You may feel just as busy-as if your baby has a serious medical problem because GER and GERD may require extra caretaking in the form of holding/comforting, more frequent feedings and clean up.
Let me tell you a few important things about babies with reflux...I mean GER.
The Reflux Mom’s Top Ten Things you need to know:
1. Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) is common in infancy.
2. Most babies have GER while a few babies have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
3. Most babies outgrow GER and GERD.
4. Most babies with reflux get better without medication.
5. GERD rarely causes scaring or damage to the esophagus in babies because infant reflux is different than adult reflux where damage is more likely to occur and requires different treatment approaches.
6. You will be a Reflux Mom or Dad in no time, characterized by being an expert at avoiding spit up on your shirt at least 50% of the time.
7. You will get to know your child’s pediatrician very well.
8. You will survive reflux.
9. Your baby will thrive.
10. You will soon have bigger things to worry about than reflux such as keeping your baby from crawling up the stairs and playing in the dog’s water bowl.
Does your baby have GER or GERD? What are you worried about? What have you tried so far? What is working? So here is the place to tell your story, ask a question, and find another parent to form a network of support. I look forward to hearing from you.
Published On: March 18, 2009