Reflux in Newborns: Signs and Symptoms

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Caring for a baby with reflux can be an emotionally stressful time. Parents are sleep deprived and baby is irritable. Reflux can challenge the dynamics of the family unit, and can often cause isolation and postnatal depression.

Presentation of reflux

Reflux is often associated with projectile vomiting after or during baby’s feeding time. Reflux will often present in newborns, with most infants growing out of it by twelve months. Along with vomiting, you may notice signs such as;

  • irritability, crying and/or screaming
  • attachment – excessive cradling and not wanting to be put down
  • inability to settle
  • infrequent and irregular sleeping patterns; frequently waking throughout the night
  •  recurrent hiccups
  • appearing to be in pain
  • bad or sour smelling breath

Where to get help

At six weeks postnatal, a check-up is required for baby’s health and growth. If you delivered privately, you will have been assigned a paediatrician. This is the best person to discuss your concerns with. Your paediatrician can assess baby’s growth and if necessary arrange for anti-reflux medication or prescription formula. If you cannot schedule an appointment with the paediatrician, seek the advice of a general practitioner with a background in childhood development.

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