PediatricPregnancy and childbirth

Treatment of silent reflux in infants at home and with medication

Silent reflux in infants is defined as the reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus and from it to the throat and throat and may reach the nose, and it is usually sufficient in the treatment of silent reflux in infants to make some lifestyle changes, but some cases may need treatment with medications, and rarely requires surgical intervention.

In this article, learn about ways to treat silent GERD in infants at home, what drug therapy is, and when a child needs surgery.

Treatment of silent reflux in infants at home

The following procedures may help relieve symptoms and treat infant silent reflux :

Increase the frequency of feeding while reducing the amount of feeding

For example, the baby can be fed 60 milliliters every two to three hours, instead of 120 milliliters every 4 hours, to avoid increasing pressure in the stomach, which aggravates reflux.

Holding the baby vertically after feeding

Holding the baby while feeding so that the head and chest are higher than the abdomen helps reduce reflux, and it is also recommended to treat silent reflux in infants Carrying the baby in a vertical position for 30 minutes after feeding and not placing it directly in the lying position.

Some mothers think that putting a baby to sleep on a mattress is a way to treat silent reflux in infants, but this is not true. The American Pediatric Association and the US Food and Drug Administration have warned against this, and even recommended sleeping the child on his back on a hard mattress and making sure that the baby’s crib is free of blankets, pillows, and toys, as the risk of sudden infant death syndrome increases with all sleeping positions except sleeping on the back even if the child has reflux.

Not putting the baby to sleep immediately after feeding is a safe alternative to changing the sleeping position.

Burping a baby

Feeding the baby several times during and after feeding to get air out of the stomach and reduce the pressure inside it contributes to the treatment of silent reflux in infants, whether the baby is bottle-feeding or naturally, as it is recommended to make sure to burp the infant after every 30 or 60 milliliters when feeding using the bottle, while in the case of breastfeeding whenever the breast is left.

Correct bottle placement

It is recommended to hold the bottle at an angle that allows the nipple to remain full of milk, to avoid the baby swallowing large amounts of air, as this may increase intestinal pressure and increase reflux.

Choosing a suitable nipple

Care should be taken to choose a suitable nipple for the baby so that we ensure that the baby is able to close his mouth tightly on it, taking into account that the nipple holes are narrow to avoid swallowing air or milk flowing quickly.

Adding oatmeal to milk

It is usually advised not to introduce solid foods into the baby’s diet before the age of 4 to 6 months, but in some cases it may be allowed to treat silent reflux in infants by adding oatmeal to formula or breast milk to reduce reflux, but consult a doctor first.

Making adjustments to the mother’s diet

Trace amounts of foods eaten by the mother may pass into breast milk and some foods and drinks may cause discomfort to the infant, for example, the mother’s intake of caffeine, chocolate or garlic can worsen the symptoms of silent reflux in infants. In addition, the child may be allergic to proteins found in dairy, soy, and eggs.

Therefore, the mother should avoid foods that increase symptoms in the child while noting how well the symptoms improve, and it should be noted that dairy products may take two weeks to excrete from the body.

Treatment of silent reflux in infants with medication

Medications of last resort in the treatment of silent reflux in infants, especially those with :

  • Choking.
  • Breathing problems.
  • Failure to grow as a result of GERD.
  • Cases that have not responded to lifestyle changes.

Medications to treat silent reflux esophagitis for infants include histamine 2 receptor blockers, proton pump inhibitors or medications that stimulate gut movement.

Treatment of silent reflux in infants with surgery

Surgery is rarely an option for treating silent reflux in infants, such as fundoplication, and conditions that may require surgery include :

  • Persistence of symptoms despite lifestyle modifications and medication use.
  • Growth retardation.
  • Complications, such as difficulty breathing.

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