Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
Treatment & Care
Treatments vary based on your child's age, health, and medical history, the extent of your child's disease, his tolerance for specific medications, procedures, and therapies, and, of course, your own opinions and preferences. Standard treatments include:
- Medications such as Zantac, Prilosec, and Prevacid may be taken daily to decrease the amount of acid in the stomach, which, in turn, will cut down on the heartburn associated with reflux.
- Your child's physician may also prescribe a medication, called Raglan, to be taken before meals and at bedtime which helps the stomach to empty faster.
- If your child is unable to gain weight due to frequent vomiting, your child's physician may recommend adding rice cereal to baby formula, adding a prescribed caloric supplement to breast milk or baby formula, or, if an allergy is suspected, your physician may advise you to switch to a soy-free formula.
- Tube feedings may be recommended for babies suffering from other conditions (such as congenital heart disease or prematurity) in addition to reflux.
- In severe cases, a surgical procedure called fundoplication may be performed.
Your physician can also advise about diet and lifestyle changes that may help manage symptoms, such as:
- Offering your child smaller portions at mealtimes, and encouraging your child not to overeat.
- Serving dinner at least two hours before bedtime
- When using a bottle, keep the nipple filled with milk so that your child doesn't swallow too much air.
- Burp your baby several times during feedings.
- After feedings, hold your child upright on your lap for thirty minutes.