Help Desperately Needed! Please!


Im losing my mind! I have an appointment with our pediatrician this afternoon, and i think I may actually leave Finlay there unless they can help me.

He was born at 30 week, fed expressed BM for 10 weeks, and then put on to nutriprem by cow and gate. Hes never had much of a problem with feeding, although being prem it just took ages.

He is now 10 weeks corrected age (20 weeks old) and weighs 11lb 15oz. Hes just dropped from the 50th centile to the 25th. He seems to have all the signs of reflux (arches his back, screams suddenly and hard for no apparent reason, refuses to feed well etc) - and until 2 days ago these signs only occurred a acouple of times a day.

In the last 48 hours he has only had about 8oz milk in total, and is screaming, arching and shrieking constantly, then grizzling (i presume with hunger!) the rest of the time. He was so close to sleeping through the night, but we have gone backwards and he is now waking at 1am and 5am (he wakes other times too but im just offering his dummy as dont want him to be used to feeding through the night).

Can reflux suddenly appear so violently? Am i going mad? My gorgeous content little boy has changed!

The pediatrician says he (finally!) thinks he has reflux (his weight gain has always been staeady which is why it has p[reviously been discounted), and thinks he should go straight on to Zantac (Ranitidine). Apparently that works by reducing stomach acid?

I just need some support, I think people thought i was just an overbearing mother, and honestly im quite chilled out, try to stay relaxed and not worry about most things, but im demented with tiredness and dont know what to do! Im worried about putting him on such a strong drug - has anyone else used it?

I know normally they try infant gaviscon first, but they dont prescribe that here (im in the middle east)

Romeo x


  • Hi hun,

    I havent had any experiance with refulx so cant advise re medicines. But couldnt R and R. Your not being over bearing at all and if therre is a weight drop Im sure the pead will be able to give you the best things for him. Try and stay positive and hopefully the pead can help.

    As for the tiredness I would try and go back to how things were when lo was first born and everyone tells you to sleep when they sleep etc. you may not sleep but you can try and get some rest at least. Let the house work etc go. Is there anyone who can heelp you and maybe let you have a vfew hours off? xx
  • Blue Starx thank you so much.

    Thats good advice on the sleeping, but we are moving house in 2 weeks and i have soo much to do! I will try and maybe do chores during one nap and nap during his other nap? Hubby will be around at the weekend so that should be okay, but im on my own in the week - i go to baby groups etc so have lots of friends with babies but noone able to actually take him for a few hours!

    I have no issue letting the housework go - takeaway tonight it is!

    Thanks for your support x
  • Oh honey, first of all just give yourself a big pat on the back. It's been a tough 20 wks for you and now to have your son diagnosed with reflux Im not surprised you feel like you're losing your mind. My son had it too, he has only just come out the other side (he is now 9 months). It is seriously the toughest thing Ive gone through because it's so stressful for the both of you. We pretty much skipped through the infant gaviscon and went straight on to renitadine when he was 4wks old. He changed into a different baby in 24hrs so in my opinion it was a saviour. He wasnt 100% perfect as a result, and still had attacks of pain with all the back arching, we still had problems feeding, but the meds certainly eased his pain. He also suffered from bad trapped wind until he was 16wks so this was another factor.

    The renitadine (zantac) is an antacid. Our paed said it wont stop them throwing up (and nothing can?) but it stops the pain because it stops the acid from going up the oesophagus. My son didnt throw up with it too much anyway as he was more on the silent side to begin with but he did throw up as he got older but it didnt bother him.

    There is a formula that the docs are supposed to follow to calculate the dosage required (based on age and weight I think). But Im not sure they all follow this as my son's cousins both have reflux and all 3 of them had vastly different dosages applied. All i can advise here is, if you dont see much of a change then be aware that the dosage may need to be increased so speak to your paed if you feel this is needed.

    The way you are feeling is understandable. It's exactly how I felt but let me assure you that you will come out the other side and your son will get through it. By the way, when I say my son has only just come out of it- 8 months is usually when it disappears but that doesnt mean they are uncomfortable for all those months if it's managed. I had to have the dosage increased when my son was 14wks and he remained on that until I weaned him off it. he wasnt bothered by the reflux from then on (except on the occasions I experimented with weaning him off the meds earlier).

    Im glad you are finally getting some help. Take a deep breath now and know that you are a wonderful mum, you are just dealing with something that is really difficult. My son wasnt great with his milk but when he started solids his weight drastically increased (and he finally got some baby rolls!)

  • Mummabear - thanks so so much.

    The thing is, i think my hubby and friends think im overreacting about it, because sometimes he is fine, and coos and smiles and eats (but still doesnt eat much!), and then (generally when im on my own for hours) he is so unhappy! He isnt a screamer at all, he used to throw up tons but he doesnt now, but thats because he barely takes anything!

    Thanks for the advice on the dosage - i might talk to the pead about what to do if we dont notice a difference, then we dont have to make repeat (and expensive!) trips!

    Its the nights which are the worst - he tends to want to eat more then (perhaps being relaxed and sleepy means hes not in as much pain), but he was so close to sleeping though and its all gone wrong again!
    Hopefully this will all get sorted once we get the meds sorted!

    Thanks again

  • I think it's actually the distraction of other people being around that does it. My son was exactly the same and people would "jokingly" make me out to be a liar and say "I really cant see what your're talking about - he is such a happy content baby". I would honestly be sat at home tearing my hair out all day long until my husband would walk in the door from work and I would just lose it with stress. So try not to take others comments on board - if your husband doesnt understand how tough it is, can he take your son for a whole day? He will learn very quickly just how tough it is.

    As for the night feeds, my son was much better at taking milk at night time as he was more relaxed so the reflux didnt seem to bother him anywhere near as much as during the day. I was mostly bf up to 6 months and it was very much on demand every 2 hrs or so cos he just wouldnt take enough. But you say the nights are the worst for you because he feeds more because he is relaxed? do you mean that he wakes through the night more now for feeds? I introduced 1 ff when my son was 4wks since my milk supply suffered from his reflux/feeding, so his bedtime bottle was quite a lot. I started this before his bath, then finished after when he was more relaxed. Then I did a dreamfeed which was usually sometime between 10-11pm. He would then sleep through til 7am as a result. Do you do a dreamfeed or do you wake him? I found my son tended to take more milk a lot more easily if he was asleep.

  • Thanks girls

    Mummabear - i dont dreamfeed him as he just doesnt take it, but yes, the nights are getting worse as he is waking more often for milk (when he used to sleep quite well) so im shattered as well as having to deal with all this in the day,

    Hubby is supportive, but doesnt actually have a clue - he would help but he doesnt really have the patience to persevere!

    The doc said that the first prob is that Finn seems to have a mild ear infection/sore throat - nothing that calpol and cuddles wont cure but it explains why hes been totally off his food more so than normal. He has said to give him calpol regularly for 48 hours to knock it on the head and make sure hes comfortable. The issue with him not drinking is dehydration at the mo as its 120+ degrees here every day. I have to offer little and often, and wait for 30 mins after giving calpol as doc thinks the sore throat could be adding to the prob.

    He is also certain that he has silent reflux. We are already weaning but he wants us to offer more food as finn loves it, and offer feeds before and after the food (the weight of the food will aparently help keep the milk in his tummy). He also wants us to change onto an anti reflux milk, but do it gradually to ensure he tolerates the new milk type.
    Then, after we start doing more food and change of milk, we will review in one week. Hes happy to prescribe ranitidine, but wanted to try the other options first!

    Hes a lovely doc and took lots and lots of time with us, so at least i feel that someone doesnt think im insane!

    Thanks so much for the support ladies!

  • Well he sounds like a good doc that has taken the time to understand and assess the problem. Having a supportive doc makes all the difference - and of course youre not insane, you just needed to be heard and helped!

    They have an anti-reflux milk where I am but I read on forums that it could cause constipation (cos it's so thick) so I never ended up trying it. So keep that in mind with what you're trying too - maybe google it and see other's opinions on using it.

    Some docs say reflux babies should be weaned early, some say later. I started weaning my son at 5 months purely because he showed all the signs of being ready. It was the best thing I did too as he thrived after that with his weight. So hopefully Finlay will too.
  • Thanks mummabear - the doc warned about constipation but suggested an ounce of prune or apple juice be given once a day as that should keep things moving through.

    We have noticed an improvement on the feeding already since we started the new milk, but to be honest his symptoms are still there, just muted! Im going to persevere though as he is a MUCH happier boy in the last 24 hours, so will give his system time to get used to te milk! Constipation isnt nice, but providing we can help him out with juice etc, id prefer it to medicating him long term if i can avoid it!

    Thanks for all the support!
  • Im glad you are seeing some improvement, that's a good sign that what you are doing is working. The constipation can be managed as you are aware of it. I also found diluted oj worked for my son on the one occasion I needed to use it. It's all trial and error until you find what works best. The meds are always there as a last resort if all else fails but hopefully you are on to a good thing with this milk.
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