We hear a great deal of discussion about the typical treatments for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) such as careful eating, positioning and medication. Buried deep in the fine print is another often overlooked recommendation: wear loose clothing to decrease pressure around the stomach.
It makes sense when you think about it. The stomach is designed to expand a bit to make room for food. So why not loosen the baby’s diaper a bit after a meal or purchase loose pants with an elastic waist for a young child? It gets tricky when you try to convince your teen to purchase loose jeans when the style seems to hover between tight and skin tight these days! I will leave that to you and your teen to figure out!
I think my daughter had it right when she was a preschooler. She had a habit of always wearing those one piece pajamas 24/7. You know the sleepers that zip up and come in all colors and designs with thick, soft fabric? It used to drive me crazy because she wanted to wear her pajamas out to the store and the park too. I finally cut a deal with her-she could wear the pajamas all day as long as we were home but once we went out, she had to put on actual clothes. She was constantly changing her clothing. The second we came home from an outing, the clothes were tossed and the pajamas were on. Carpool? Change. To the park? Change again. Over and over all day long. For a long time, I thought this was just one of those quirky habits all preschoolers develop. You know what I mean-ever see a preschooler in church wearing the ballet tutu from dance class or the pirate costume even though Halloween was months ago?! Finally it occurred to me that Rebecca was trying to “fix” her reflux once again. By wearing her comfortable pajamas, she was helping to keep the pressure off of her stomach. How many times have I run home from a big meal at a restaurant and the first thing I do is put on my sweat pants?!
In this world of fancy treatments for GERD and other conditions, don’t overlook the wisdom of a young child who took a very low cost but high impact method of treating her reflux!