Up to 70% of infants experience reflux, often with few symptoms or complications. Gastro-oesophageal disease (GORD) is diagnosed when symptoms become problematic and produce complications e.g. excessive crying, feed refusal, faltering growth. Unfortunately, many parents are told that their child ‘just has colic’ and will ‘grow out of it’.
Initial advice is to keep the infant upright for at least 30 minutes after feeding. Clothing around the abdomen should be loose fitting.
Infants with GORD who do not respond to medical treatment e.g. Gaviscon, ranitidine, domperidone, omeprazole, may have a cow’s milk allergy. Cow’s milk allergy can be the cause of reflux in 30-40% of infants with GORD. For these infants, symptoms should significantly improve following the removal of dairy from a breastfeeding mother’s diet, or with the introduction of a specialist cow’s milk free formula.