Published: Wednesday 22 March 2023
As baby massage, baby yoga or baby reflexology teachers, we often see babies who are upset for some reason. Sometimes this is just due to needing a feed or a nap but sometimes it can be caused by trapped wind, colic or reflux. We've previously looked at colic in another article, and here we look at how to be aware of the symptoms of reflux.
The term reflux is a shorter way of referring to Gastro Oesophageal Reflux (GOR) and is simply defined as the backward flow of stomach contents up the oesophagus.
GOR is a physiological process that happens to everyone — young and old — from time to time, particularly after meals and many times we are not even aware it is happening. In babies it generally occurs due to immaturity of the Lower Oesophageal Sphincter (LOS) which is the muscle between the stomach and oesophagus.
Some common symptoms of uncomplicated reflux can include:
- Constant or sudden crying or colic-like symptoms.
- Irritability and pain.
- Poor sleep habits typically with frequent waking.
- Arching their necks and back during or after eating, spitting-up or vomiting.
- Wet burp or frequent hiccups.
- Frequent ear infections or sinus congestion.
Babies do not need to exhibit all of these symptoms, in fact, only having one of the above could mean they have reflux. Parents or carers should have reflux properly diagnosed by a doctor, as with any concerns about the health of their baby. Of course, being massaged may help to greatly reduce the symptoms. Further information on reflux can be found on the NHS website.