Infant Reflux Alternative Treatments
Infants are being diagnosed and treated for reflux at an alarming rate these days. Prior to, or in addition to medicating your baby you may want to try some alternative treatments for infant reflux.
Positioning as an alternative treatment for infant reflux
Positioning is one alternative treatment that even Western Medicine recognizes. When feeding, the baby should be as upright as possible with a straight spine. Ideally the baby should be in this position for 30-60 minutes after feeding and while sleeping. Find out about reflux wedges that make this an easy task. We especially love the feeding and sleeping wedge combination. During the middle of the night feed the baby upright on a feeding wedge and then put him on a sleeping wedge. You go right back to sleep rather than holding him upright for 60 minutes!
Infant massage as an alternative treatment for infant reflux
In addition to general relaxation, it is believed that massage stimulates the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve increases peristalsis which assists in digestion. Seek a certified Infant Massage Instructor. When practicing massage, be sure to start slowly and listen to your baby. Never attempt to massage a baby without first referring to a book on infant massage. This is also a great way to calm a baby with infant reflux.
Craniosacral or Chiropractor visits as an alternative treatment for infant reflux
It is believed that the process of being carried in the womb or the process of birth (namely C-section or very quick vaginal delivery) can cause imbalances in the central nervous system. Craniosacral treatments are very light fingertip adjustments that correct restrictions in the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cords. Chiropractor adjustments on infants are also very gentle adjustments on certain parts of the spine typically using a single fingertip or small tool to correct the vertebras positioning and allow the nerve pathways to function efficiently. I have heard of these treatments working with great success for some and with limited to no success for others. We saw moderate improvement in my son's infant reflux.
Slippery Elm as an alternative treatment for infant reflux
Slippery Elm has been used in traditional Chinese medicine as a treatment for gastrointestinal symptoms. It works by coating and soothing the gastrointestinal tract and throat. The theory is that this helps prevent burning that stomach acid can cause. The powder can be brewed into a tea and the capsules can be mixed in with applesauce once your baby begins to eat solids. See www.ajc.com for dosing guidelines and more background information. Because it is so mucilaginous it should not be offered at the same time as other medications. I used this with my son and believe it to be helpful. Please note this will not affect the frequency or amount your baby spits up but it helps to make him more comfortable when it does happen, much like an antacid or an H2RA.
Other alternative treatment mentions
I have heard of the following alternative treatments for infant reflux, although I have no experience with them:
More information about infant reflux:
Read about one mom's experience with homeopathic infant reflux treatment.
Read about reflux and colic home remedies you can try.
Read about reflux symptoms.
Learn more about reflux and colic.
Peruse our infant reflux and colic comfort tips to soothe your little one.
Upright positioning during feeds is one of the best alternative treatments for infant reflux
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Read a review of the Pollywog nursing positioner at www.infantreflux.org