Reflux (GERD) Complications — The Bump
Breastfeeding

Reflux (GERD) Complications

My 10 week old baby is in the process of overcoming severe reflux. She is strictly fed breastmilk but since her reflux, she prefers feeding from a bottle rather than straight from me ( I'm assuming she has more control with the bottle nipple). I'm thankful that she is able to finally eat without being in any pain, but this is breaking my heart! Furthermore, I'm terrified that my milk supply will go down if I strictly pump because I can't get her to breastfeed. Could anyone tell me how to fix this problem & get my baby back to being comfortable breastfeeding again? Also, any additional pointers on dealing with GERD would be greatly appreciated as well! PLEASE AND THANK YOU!

-Concerned mother

Re: Reflux (GERD) Complications

  • Is your baby on medication for reflux?  My DD was started on Zantac at 1 month old and needed it until 9 months old.  After the first 2-3 months, it did get better -- she was much happier and not in pain constantly.  But she would not (could not?) sleep if I was late with her medicine dose.  We tried weaning her off Zantac at 4m and again at 6m, but she definitely still needed it until 9 months.  She was always quite small (approx. 10-20th percentile) so that may have also contributed.

    I'm not sure what to recommend with regards to getting your baby back to the breast -- DD always preferred to breastfeed, usually every hour or two at the most!  I think the frequent small feedings were easier on her and soothing to the reflux.  Maybe try feeding her right after pumping?  Then she won't have to deal with any over-active letdown or large amounts of milk.  Even if she doesn't get much, it should help your supply just having her nurse.
  • Agree with above post. Zantac really helped DD. If she prefers the bottle it's likely either because you have overactive letdown or because the position you bottle feed her in is more upright that the position you breastfeed her in. You can try pumping off an ounce or so before getting her to latch if it's overactive letdown, or change positions so she's more upright while feeding her. Babies with GERD hate laying down, especially flat, it makes symptoms worse.

    DD also far prefers small frequent meals to large ones. That also lessened her symptoms. Good luck.
    Me: 37 DH: 37
    Married 5-31-14
    DD1 born 6-21-15
    DD2 born 6-11-17
    DS born 9-5-18

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  • Is your LO spitting up much?
  • We started with Zantac, which helped about 70% of the way, but then it stopped working. We switched to Prevacid, which has been amazing. He has actually smiled at me while nursing, which never happened before Prevacid.  Good luck. Reflux is not fun!
  • massey25 said:

    Is your LO spitting up much?

    She didn't at first but now she has some bad days and some where she doesn't spit up much at all. The doctor said zantac won't stop the barfing but will make it less painful for her.
    Me: 37 DH: 37
    Married 5-31-14
    DD1 born 6-21-15
    DD2 born 6-11-17
    DS born 9-5-18

  • delujm0 said:

    massey25 said:

    Is your LO spitting up much?

    She didn't at first but now she has some bad days and some where she doesn't spit up much at all. The doctor said zantac won't stop the barfing but will make it less painful for her.
    I ask this because my LO had pyloric stenosis.. Something I never would've heard of had my niece not had it. It started with spit-up and became vomiting and projectile vomiting. I feel like a total spaz when someone mentions spit up, but I feel it's probably often diagnosed as just reflux, so I can't help but ask.
  • My LO has GERD too and I have oversupply overactive letdown so that complicated things in the beginning. He's on zantac now and it has helped some, he's definitely not in pain anymore but he does still spit up. He is bottle fed though and I EP. It just works for us. I tried to get him back to at least feeding the first time in the morning and the nighttime feeding but he wasn't having it. He can control it better with the bottle nipple, doesn't have to manage the excessive milk and it's just easier for us. Have you tried the modified positions for feeding, like sidelying or laying back with baby on your chest? Sidelying worked ok for us and was awesome in the morning but he did still choke at times so we just stopped. Best of luck! Broke my heart when he wouldn't take back to the breast anymore but as long as he's eating and happy I'm not gonna stress too much over it, plus daddy can do feedings this way :)
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