Reflux is a symptom, not a disease. Finding the root cause is the best way to tackle your baby’s discomfort.
After an awful pregnancy suffering hyperemesis I was hoping for a baby who slept, but that wasn’t to be.
I gave birth in early 2021 to Aila with a totally natural delivery which nearly happened in the car (more on that another time). She was born 5 minutes after arriving at the hospital and without any pain relief or assistance. All was well.
But after coming home, Aila cried….no, she screamed almost all day every day. We couldn’t put her down and she fed all the time (sometimes up to 9hrs straight with me only stopping for a comfort break). On average she took 3 hours to settle to sleep and slept around 2 hours total in 24.
We were told she was reacting to antibiotics I had after the birth and to wait it out. But I couldn’t leave the house, eat, look after my wee boy, sleep or enjoy Aila. I managed a shower every few days and ate over the top of her head as she fed. I watched hours and hours of TV and never moved from the sofa.
We ended up staying with my mum so she could help walking up and down trying to settle Aila as she had to be held all the time.
At 6 weeks Aila was diagnosed with cow’s milk protein allergy and was prescribed special formula which helped a little, but she was still screaming and now had awful stomach pain too.
A doctor friend eventually recommended medication for reflux and that worked amazingly well……for 5 whole weeks. I hadn’t even believed silent reflux was a real thing until this point, to be honest!
Aila got worse and worse and one day screamed for 18 hours solid before finally settling. It was a horrible time and I was beginning to wonder if there was something seriously wrong with her.
By 5 months I was exhausted, feeling low, isolated, crying a lot and hating my maternity leave. I kept being told that everything was fine, Aila was putting on weight, thriving and on all the right medication and milk to help her. I was just to keep increasing the medication for the next 12 months!
I was at the GP or hospital weekly and really felt like I was going mad. This was one of the worst experiences.
I trawled social media and one night found Áine Homer, The Baby Reflux Lady and I read her book. It made a lot of sense to me.
Whilst sceptical that there was anything else we could try, as a last resort I booked a consultation and was blown away by the detailed assessment I was given.
I found that Aila had a tongue tie (and found out I did too!) And after lots of changes, we saw improvements and she was a different baby.
Eight weeks later we were medication free and her reflux symptoms have now gone.
We continue to work on Aila’s allergies as we slowly introduce foods. I have studied to understand the infant gut so as to support her, and my clients even more.