Gastro-oesophageal Reflux (GOR)

1. What is reflux?
Sudden and effortless return of small volumes of gastric content into the esophagus and mouth, also called regurgitation.
2. What causes reflux?
The main reason for GOR is an underdeveloped or weak lower esophageal sphincter. It may also be caused by large meal with relatively small stomach, short esophagus and increase abdominal pressure due to straining or excessive crying.
3. Should I worry if my baby has reflux?
Uncomplicated reflux is common and physiological. A lot of babies will regurgitate certain amount of milk after feeding. However, if the reflux is accompanied by other symptoms such as excessive crying due to pain (esophagitis), failure to gain weight or projectile/forceful vomiting, you should bring you baby to your doctor’s attention immediately for further assessment and evaluation.
4. What I can do if my baby has reflux?
You can try feeding your baby with smaller amount of milk but more frequent feeds and give time for him/her to burp. Handle your baby carefully especially when the stomach is full.
Nurse your baby slightly upright position about 30-45 degrees during feeding and for about ½ hour post feeding. Thickening the milk (thickened formula) is recommended as a treatment for regurgitation and proven to benefit most infants.
5. Can my baby recover from reflux?
Majority of the uncomplicated reflux will resolve spontaneously, normally by 6-12 months of age. With proper feeding technique, slightly upright position and thicken feeds, reflux will be self limiting. Those associated with complication and more severe presentations, your doctor may need to prescribe some medications to facilitate the gastric emptying and suppress the gastric acidity.

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