Acid Reflux and Premature Infant?

Updated on April 13, 2010
K.H. asks from Chetopa, KS
10 answers

My son was born 7 weeks premature, and was diagnosed with severe acid reflux after birth....While in the NICU they put him on Zantac and started putting Thick it into his bottles. Once I got to bring him home 31 days later on oxygen, apnea monitor and still with the reflux and zantac I took him to his pediatrician that day he took him off of his peracid (the zantac wasn't working anymore.) and told me to start putting a small amount of cereal into his bottles.
This has helped a little but not much, he still refluxs and cries during bottles and pukes right after, I plan on making him another appointment on Monday (tomorrow) but the doctor said that if the peracid didn't seem to work he was going to have to go to a GI specialist.
Do any of you know what that involves and what I should expect?

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answers from St. Louis on

My daughter was not a preemie but had silent reflux as a baby. It was pretty awful, and no medicines helped. She saw a GI, who tried the adult dose of Nexium and it didn't help at all. He also ordered some tests. For her it was food allergies. I was nursing, so pulling foods from my diet (dairy was the worst) was the only thing that helped, but I had to figure that out on my own...none of the doctors suggested it. If he's on formula, have you tried different ones? Good luck. Hope you get some relief for your little one (and yourself) soon.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

My daughter was not a premie and didn't even spit up until she was about 4 months old and all of the sudden, big issue with it. Long story short, someone reccommended a pediatric chiropractor. She got two adjustments - which in a baby, consist of a trained chiro holding her in his hands on her back, certain pressue in certain places. She never did it again. He strongly feels that all babies should have an adjustment after birth - if they go through the birth canal, there is a reason...if they are pulled out via c-section, there is a reason.

I belonged to a baby group where acid reflux seemed to be the malady de jour (everyone had it..huh??). I mentioned my experience and then another mom fessed up that her heavily drugged baby due to reflux was also 'fixed' after 2-3 adjustments with a chiro. So, off went all these moms to see if they could get their babies off the drugs and out of pain.

They were all successful with it. This was a group of about 5 people who had the problem and were 'fixed'.

So, I would reccommend trying that, if you can. Ask around, call all the chiro's in the phone book. See what you can find out.

The cereal in his bottles concerns me because that is often a cause of food allergies and not reccommended typically (but, like I said, I didn't have a premie or acid reflux - just going from the typical reccommendation).

Might be worth a try, it is non invasive and no drugs (current or future side-effects). I hope you find a good solution. God Bless!



answers from St. Louis on

I know there are a lot of moms out there who worry about early solids & food allergies.....but all of the children in our family....started solids (in this case- cereal) at an early age. For some of the babies, it was as early as 4 weeks. Only one child (out of more than 25+) has food allergies ...& that's to peanut.

Since the cereal has helped, but not solved the problem.....I recommend continuing the cereal & see the GI specialist. My godson also had severe reflux & required a surgical correction for this. I don't remember the name of the condition, but it tends to happen with 1stborn sons.... After surgery, all reflux issues were eliminated. Don't know if this helps, but it points you in another direction.



answers from Indianapolis on

I would certainly encourage you to explore the possibility of going to the GI specialist.

Zantac is an H2 Antagonist, a predecessor to Prevacid, a Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI). They both work a little differently, but PPIs are generally more standard of care these days because they address a few more aspects of reflux.

If Prevacid (which is a very good PPI isn't working), I'd certainly want a GI specialist to take a look and see if they can figure out what might be going on - I had a friend who's son had a condition that presented as GERD but ended-up being much more serious - something only a specialist would have been able to diagnose vs. the pediatrician.

Best wishes. Hoping it's all a matter of time and diligence.



answers from Kansas City on

This doesn't answer your question exactly but here's something that might help a little. We dealt with acid reflux with one of my kids - it wasn't this severe but what helped was giving him primadophilus to help with digestion. It's the baby version of what is in yogurt that they advertise is so good for you, acidophilus, but it's in powdered form that you can just add to the bottle. You can get it in any health food store. Not sure if it helps with more severe cases but its good for baby either way! Not that I'm recommending this instead of what you're doing, just in addition to. Good luck, it's so hard to see the little ones in so much pain!



answers from St. Joseph on

19 years ago my daughter was born and after approximately 2 weeks starting projectile vomiting about 30 minutes to an hour after every bottle. At first the doctors said it was a sinus infection draining down into her stomach that was making her throw up (after an emergency room visit) and gave her a decongestant however, that did not solve the problem and only caused her to stay awake for 48 hours straight. So I took her back to our family doctor and since she had lost weight and was under her birth weight, he sent me to the hospital to perform an Upper GI. The result was that her pyloric muscle (the muscle going out of the stomach) had thickened up and was preventing the food from passing through. She had surgery when she was 3 weeks old to "cut the muscle" to allow the food to pass. The surgery is called a Pyloromyotomy. She came through the surgery fine and when it was okay to feed her she was able to take 2-3oz. of formula and didn't throw up any. I was also told at the time, that is happens mostly to first born boys although she was my second daughter. Hope this helps, ours was a success story and since she was so young, she doesn't remember anything about it obviously. She has a scar on her trunk about 2 inches long now but it was less then an inch when they did it.



answers from Wichita on

Janell and Kelly are right. Probiotics (Primadophilus) are a must. Now I don't understand any of the special problems a preemie might face, but I do understand digestive problems, and a chiropractor-kinesiologist has helped my family greatly with those. He has also been able to help us with allergies, just in case that happens to be the problem. I'm assuming you go to Joplin for your medical care, since that is the closest major city. If you do decide to go the chiropractor route, make calls first. Ask the doctor if he/she has worked on infants before. Educate yourself first. Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

My child had severe reflux and was hospitalized at 17 days. They did an upper GI, and very likely they went with a tube down her throat.
She took reglan....I put small amounts of ricer cereal in each bottle...and held her almost totally upright, sitting position for feeding and for 10-15 mins after eating. Burping him very often during feeding helps. Also, raising the head in his crib bassinette so that he is not laying flat..I kept her sleeping on her a family joke, I out her in a front and back prop, I was so afraid she would choke that she learned first how to climb over then, then push them to the other end of the bed. She is soon to be 15, so guess sleeping on her side didn't hurt her...the reflux went awat soon after her 1st BD...good luck.



answers from New York on

My kids were not preemies but both ended up in the NICU, one had reflux and the other had the apnea monitor. For reflux my son had prevacid and regulan until about 9 months, though the symptoms improved a lot when he started sitting up at 6 months. We put oatmeal in the bottles as well and sat him still and upright in a baby seat for 20 minutes after meals. He was also seen by a GI specialist. If your pediatrician seems not to be managing the reflux well maybe check with the nearest children's hospital or the NICU at the hospital where he was born for a referral.



answers from Kansas City on

I know how distressing this problem can be because I had an infant with severe reflux too. It started at birth and while in the NICU they put my daughter on Prilosec (formulated specifically for her through the pharmacy) as well as constantly having her in an upright to semi-upright position. Her bed was kept elevated at the head and we were told to keep her elevated for about a half hour after each feeding when we took her home. We were also told she would/could outgrow the problem and thankfully she did! She's 5 now and doesn't require any meds and went off the Prilosec around 1 year of age. We don't have any reflux problems with her and I was glad to not have to go through any surgery to remedy the problem. I felt like she'd been through enough during her first 6 weeks of fighting for her life.

I'd ask to try yet another med and you could still go see a GI specialist...if the doctor is affliated with Children's Mercy Hospital than I'd feel confident with their diagnosis/opinion, but just remember that you are his advocate and it's always okay to get a second opinion. If two or more doctors agree than I'll consider what they're saying but sometimes doctors can really differ about how to treat a problem and I wouldn't rush into surgery when its something he may outgrow.

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