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Breastfeeding and reflux

Breastfeeding & Reflux

Discover the Advantages of Breastfeeding for Your Baby's Health and Well-being
  • Breastfeeding offers numerous benefits for your baby's health and well-being. Research has shown that breastfed infants have fewer and less severe reflux episodes compared to their formula-fed counterparts. This is because human milk is more easily digested and empties from the stomach faster than formula, which helps reduce the risk of reflux. Additionally, human milk is less irritating to the esophagus than formula, making breastfeeding an excellent choice for reflux management.
  • Another advantage of breastfeeding is the bond it creates between mother and baby. When your little one is uncomfortable or upset, breastfeeding provides a natural way to comfort and calm them. The hormones released during nursing promote relaxation, which can help ease your stress and anxiety as well. Breastfeeding also allows you to stay attuned to your baby's needs and cues, which is invaluable in managing reflux and other feeding challenges.
  •  If you're struggling with feeding due to reflux, there are a few techniques you can try to encourage your baby to nurse. Minimize distractions during feedings by nursing in a quiet, peaceful environment, and try nursing your baby when they're sleepy. Skin-to-skin contact and cuddling can also help soothe your baby, as can different nursing positions and using baby slings.
  • If your baby is experiencing reflux symptoms such as spitting up or choking, try burping them frequently and keeping them in an upright position during and after feedings. Smaller, more frequent feedings can also help, as can avoiding foods that may exacerbate reflux, such as dairy, tomatoes, citrus, high-fat foods, carbonated beverages, and processed foods.
  • In the past, adding cereal to a baby's feedings was a common recommendation for managing reflux, but this method has since been disproven and can interfere with breastfeeding. If natural remedies and feeding modifications don't help, speak to your paediatrician about prescription medications that can help reduce stomach acid and alleviate reflux symptoms.
Breastfeeding can be a challenge, but the benefits for your baby's health and well-being make it worthwhile. Work closely with your baby's healthcare providers to find the best feeding and reflux management strategies for your little one.
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