If you're worried about infant reflux, you'll likely start by seeing your child's family doctor or pediatrician. If the reflux is persisting past your child's first birthday or if your child is having some worrisome symptoms such as lack of weight gain and breathing problems, you may be referred to a specialist in digestive diseases in children (pediatric gastroenterologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down any symptoms your baby is experiencing. Note when the baby spits up. Is it every time he or she feeds? How much liquid is your baby spitting up? Does it seem like he or she is throwing up everything eaten?
- Make a list of key information. How often do you feed your baby? How long do feeding sessions last? How often do you burp your baby during feedings? Are you breast-feeding? If not, what type of formula are you using? How do you prepare the formula? Have you recently switched formulas?
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Questions to ask your doctor
Some basic questions you might want to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my baby's symptoms?
- Does my baby need any tests?
- What treatments are available?
- What can I do to help my baby?
- Am I feeding my baby too much? Or am I feeding my baby too often?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
What to expect from your doctor
Be ready to respond to questions your doctor is likely to ask you:
March 28, 2013
- When did your baby first begin experiencing symptoms?
- Does your baby spit up with every feeding or only occasionally?
- How is your baby's temperament? Is he or she content between feedings?
- Have you recently switched from breast-feeding to bottle-feeding? Or have you switched infant formulas?
- How often do you feed your baby?
- How much does your baby eat at each feeding?
- Does the same person feed your baby every time?
- If you have different caregivers, does everyone feed the baby the same way each time?
- In what position does your baby sleep?
- Does anything seem to improve your baby's symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen the symptoms?
- Gastroesophageal reflux in infants. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/gerdinfant/gerdinfant/ Accessed Oct. 10, 2012.
- Winter HS. Gastroesophageal reflux in infants. www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Oct. 10, 2012.
- AskMayoExpert. Gastroesophageal reflux in children. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- Wilkinson JM. (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 31, 2012.
- Vandenplas Y, et al. Pediatric gastroesophageal reflux clinical practice guidelines: Joint recommendations of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) and the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (ESPGHAN). Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. 2009;49:498.
- Full-term infants: Issues to consider: Reflux. Pediatric Nutrition Care Manual. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. http://nutritioncaremanual.org/index.cfm. Accessed March 11, 2013.
- Schurr P, et al. Neonatal mythbusters: Evaluating the evidence for and against pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic management of gastroesophageal reflux. Neonatal Network. 2012;31:229.