When I found out I was pregnant I was overwhelmed with emotions. Then flooded with an abundance of advice from young to old. Not once, though, did anyone go over the different types of formula. After birth, the nurse told me she would be “fussy” as her body adjusted to the formula. Screaming for hours after eating did not sit well to me as a mother.
Unfortunately, I could not breastfeed and it was definitely not for the lack of trying. I thought my nipples were going to fall off after pumping with the breast pump! A couple of drops. That is all my body gave. What? Are you kidding? All that pumping and pain for that? And then, nothing. Dried up like a desert. Well crap, now what? Note: I HIGHLY recommend taking a breast pump to the hospital. They even make a bra so that you can be hands free. I would have slapped a double pump on my breasts from the beginning instead of being frustrated that my daughter wouldn’t latch on as I tried to breastfeed while I was in and out of my fogs due to the medication. Absolutely worth every penny!
She was seeing my doctor at the beginning. Although I really did like my doctor, the only conclusion she had as to why she screamed after eating was that she had colic. And then prescribed her adult medication. What the heck is colic? Okay oh great ones with all the advice. Why wasn’t this included? After some research I found out “colic” is when the doctor has absolutely no idea what is wrong. One name for a group of possible problems. She recommended a specialist so I made an appointment with him while I set out to find her a pediatrician.
While in the process of trying to locate a pediatrician, we switched her formula to Similac Expert Care Alimentum. She was still screaming after eating. We had to walk her up and down the stairs after each feeding to get her to burp and fall asleep. Bath time was an absolute nightmare. If we put her in an infant tub she screamed at the top of her lungs. The kitchen sink was the only place she would not scream because she was help upright. Every imaginable product on the market was bought to help her try to be more comfortable.
There were tents in our bedroom so we could keep the air vents open but keep the air away. I thought I was in a three ring circus when I walked into my bedroom. We moved our recliner from upstairs to downstairs at least five times trying to find the perfect spot. We finally gave up on all the products and she slept at night on her father’s chest in the recliner with pillows under his arms for the first six months. One drop of a needle and she was up and screaming so all lights had to be turned off and everyone had to tiptoe once they were asleep.One drop of a needle and she was up and screaming so all lights had to be turned off and everyone had to tiptoe once they were asleep.
Visitors, ha! Talk about scheduled. And, boy did we catch a lot of slack for that. Why? Well, the ones that gave us slack did not take the time to understand exactly what we were going through. Others got on their knees and prayed for us, sent us expert advice, and came over and rolled up their sleeves and helped with wash, cooking, etc. Needless to say, the first six months were a complete blur. If not for God Almighty and the strength of my mother, we would have absolutely lost it!
Within five minutes of talking to the specialist, my face said it all. My mother and husband were expecting a huge volcano to explode at any moment. He actually told me she was constipated (even though I explained she had normal soft stool daily). He told me she did not have acid reflux yet prescribed her a DOUBLE dose of the adult medicine for acid reflux. Wait just one minute. I did not go to medical school but if someone does not have acid reflux why on earth would you prescribe a medication (which has horrible side effects for adults mind you) for something they do not have? I did keep my composure (only thanks be to God) walked out and then let it all out. Okay, enough of the white coats. It’s time for me to start digging in for information.
From the time of birth, I was told I was a “new mother” and “did not know what I was doing” (boy did that phrase ruffle my feathers). Actually, I do. I have something nobody else in the world does. Mother’s intuition for this little person. So step aside as I prove to all of you doctors this mother can figure it out!
So I set off to do what I do best…research. After talking with other family members I found out that my sister, my husband’s brother, my cousin’s son and other family members had acid reflux as an infant. Acid reflux is on the rise and comes in two forms. Most common is the infant will regurgitate all of their food shortly after eating (this is what happened to my sister). The other is silent reflux where the formula goes up the esophagus but instead of projecting out it goes right back down. Double dose of pain. This is what my daughter had. Note: Moms do not think it is something you did during pregnancy. Those who did everything by the “books” during pregnancy still had infants with acid reflux. So don’t blame yourself!
With the help of my sister, we researched for hours about the many reasons infants may cry after eating. By the time we were done my head was spinning even more than before. The amount of information we found was overwhelming. Who knew there were a multitude of bottles and nipples available? Where was that advice when I got pregnant?
Countless nights filled with worry and tears soon came to an end. My mother’s good friend’s daughter told me about Neocate, which is a medicated formula (it is already broken down so digestion is easier). Although we had been giving her formula for “colic” I started to research this formula, which could only be bought online. I first read an abundance of opinions online until I finally plunged to their website. After reading the first testimony online my eyes filled up with tears. That’s what I am going through!! Those are all the same symptoms of my little girl!
By this point I was at my wits end. She was now almost three months old. It took some convincing of my husband but he did come around and we bought our first can. Within two weeks she started making all the “sounds” a healthy happy baby makes. No more screaming!!! You cannot even imagine the joy everyone in that house felt. Thanks be to God she was no longer in pain and did not have to be on any medication (I only gave it to her a few times). She also transitioned beautifully from Neocate formula to whole cow milk at eleven months without any problems.
I finally found her a pediatrician who confirmed she did in fact have acid reflux (didn’t even hesitate after I told him the symptoms) and confirmed the formula we had her on was perfect and would not cause any complications to her growth. Thank you Neocate! He also helped me write a letter to our insurance for them to cover the cost of it. After months of going back and forth, I won! They end of paying 80% of the cost of the formula. Don’t give up. This formula is worth it!
So for all you out there who have babies with acid reflux there is hope! There are natural ways to calm your baby. Below are items that helped us tremendously and I highly recommend:
- Colic Calm – This is all natural and helps tremendously with gas, hiccups, and so much more. More importantly, your baby’s body will only use the ingredients needed. Note: your little one will feel calm/sleepy after taking this.
- Noise Machine – Works great and we love the ocean and nature sounds.
- Essential Oil Diffuser – This does not heat up and works great! I recommend Lavender essential oil.
- Walker – My daughter loved this! A walker that spins around with activities. She would spend hours in this if she could. Great for when you need to cook, clean or just take a break!
- Boppy – This can be used during nursing as well as to put baby in. It rocks!
- Etsy has a host of natural organic alternatives that are safe for your infant. Highly recommend over any commercial product. Essensu is a company that I use and love!
The below items were either not available or I was unaware of them when my child was an infant. However, they are definitely worth trying!!
- Blooming Flower – We had to clean out the sink each time we gave her a bath. This would had made bath time so much more convenient.
- Baby Brezza Formula Pro – Neocate is a powder formula so this would have been a dream for when I was not watching her schedule and she needed a bottle asap!
- Baby Brezza Sterilizer – Our sterilizer only cleaned them. We then had to set them out to dry. A product that does both fast seriously is worth it.
- Philips Avent Natural Glass Bottle – There is not enough room to write about all the hazards of heated plastic. Glass is a better choice all the way around and I would not hesitate to buy these.
- Arm’s Reach – We only had a regular pack and play so we had to “baby proof” our bed. I am a firm believer of co-sleeping (not enough room to write on the wonderful benefits) so this is definitely a great product for parents who do want to co-sleep.
- Reclining pillow – There are several reclining pillows on the market to help with acid reflux. My husband was our daughter’s pillow but if I had to buy one I would start with Red Castle – Cocoonababy.
- Keeping the temperature between 68 and 70 also worked wonders for my daughter. She slept so much better the cooler it was.
What remedies worked for your little one?Charissa