Oh no! My Baby might have Infant Reflux!

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

Maybe your baby has Infant Reflux? If feeding or rocking is not soothing baby, there may be something else going on. If she's inconsolable for long periods, baby may be in pain. A painful cry is unmistakable. It will likely come on quickly and suddenly and is one that is likely very high-pitched and screechy in sound and is one that will grab your attention!

Acid reflux happens when the stomach contents back up into the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach. There is a ring of muscle located at the base of the esophagus where it connects with the stomach called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). If the LES doesn’t close completely, the stomach contents and digestive juices can return up the esophagus. Infants are more prone to acid reflux because their LES may be weak or underdeveloped. In fact, it’s estimated that more than half of all infant’s experience acid reflux to some degree. The condition usually peaks at age 4 months and goes away on its own between 12 and 18 months of age. It’s rare for an infant’s symptoms to continue past 24 months. If they persist, it may be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease or (GERD), which is a more serious condition.

While they may vary, the 10 most common signs of acid reflux or GERD in infants include the following:

1. spitting up and vomiting

2. refusal to eat and difficulty eating or swallowing

3. irritability during feeding

4. wet burps or hiccups

5. failure to gain weight

6. abnormal arching

7. frequent coughing or recurrent pneumonia

8. gagging or choking

9. chest pain or heartburn

10. disturbed sleep

IMPORTANT! Seek out medical advice and consultation from your family doctor or pediatrician to get a good understanding as to whether your child has Reflux or Gerd and follow their guidelines and recommendations.

Reflexology may be helpful! Reflexology is usually welcome on baby's feet. It's both calming and soothing and can be done easily in so many situations. It's gentle, effective and easily administered. Your baby’s feet are soft, malleable, delicate and lovely and the best part is they are the windows to baby’s inner systems. As they do in adult feet, baby’s feet map perfectly to every tissue, gland and organ in her body.

Why is this important? Reflexology is the practice of focused pressure on 5 zones or pathways, in each foot, beginning from the bottom of the right foot, and ending with the top of the left.

Unlike the pressure that you would apply to an adult’s foot, the pressure needed on baby’s foot is far less. Only a very light gentle touch is all that is needed. By simply sweeping a finger across an area on the foot, can bring about a calming, settling effect on your baby.

Try Reflexology Massage these 7 Key Points to Soothe Baby's Reflux

  1. Solar Plexus

  2. Cardiac Sphincter Valve

  3. Large and Small Bowel

  4. Esophagus/Mouth

  5. Neck/Throat

  6. Pancreas

  7. Gall-Bladder

1) Work on the Points for Solar Plexus

Solar Plexus

1) Using your index finger, you locate the middle (upper) part of the ball of the foot. Drag your index finger straight down from where the toes meet the ball of the foot. Your finger should find a natural indentation. That is the solar plexus area, responsible for holding stress and anxiety. When a baby is in pain with infant reflux, they will be stressed.

2) With your index finger, circle around and around, in a clock-wise direction, gently, and with a light pressure.

You can say the rhyme, “Round and round the garden, goes

the teddy bear, one-step, two- step, tickly under there!”.

2) Work on points for the Cardiac Sphincter Valve

Cardiac Sphincter Valve

1) Using your index finger, you can locate the point in the crease between the big toe and second toe.

2) Using your index finger, drag your finger in a straight line from where Chest meets Upper Abdominal, up to where the toes articulate with the ball of the foot. 3) This is an upward sweeping, gentle motion.

3) Work on points for Large and Small Bowel

Baby’s cry may be a high-pitched screechy sound, indicative of her being in pain. It may come on suddenly. NOTE: All pressure is gentle, light and soft.

Sweep the Small Intestine

Using either your thumb or index finger, gently sweep across the digestive area, located in the lower abdomen area of the foot, typically known as the small of the foot.

Work on Large Colon

1) Begin at the outer side of baby’s right heel, about half way up from the bottom.

2) Sweep with your finger straight up the middle of the outside of the foot, typically the 'small of the foot'. 3) Now, make a right-hand turn and sweep across that line to the outer (medial) edge of baby’s right foot.

Continue to Left Foot

4) Begin on the (inner) side of the left foot where you left off, on the right foot. 5) Sweep from your left to your right on that left foot. When you get to the outside of the foot, sweep down to the heel and then sweep around the bottom of the heel, making a ‘hook’.

6) You can repeat this quite a few times, as long as baby is not trying to kick her legs and feet away from you.

Work on points for Esophagus, Mouth Neck and Throat Reflexes

4) Esophagus/Mouth

1) These reflexes are located on the ‘big-toe’ side (also called the Medial side) of baby’s foot (start on right foot) in the area that is halfway up the ball of the foot. 2) You will be using your thumb or index finger to sweep upwards on medial (outer) side of foot, from where the Upper abdominal meets Chest, up to and along the side of the Big Toe. 3) End your sweep on the Big Toe, right outer edge of the toe, about half way up the big toe. This is the point for the mouth. Gently circle this location.

Repeat the above steps at least 3 times, but more if tolerable. Then repeat on the left foot. 5) Neck/Throat

1) Locate, with your index finger, the location where the big toe articulates with the ball of the foot. Sweep with your index finger across the foot, touching each point where the toes meet the ball.

2) Repeat back and forth sweeping motion about 3 to 5 times, then repeat on the left foot.

Work on Pancreas and Gall Bladder Reflexes

6) Pancreas

1) Using your index finger, you will locate the pancreas area (Blue) and very gently, grid this area. Gridding is when you use your index finger and sweep across the 'blue' area, then sweep down the 'blue' area.

2) Repeat on the left foot.

7) Gall Bladder

1) The reflex for the Gall Bladder is only on the right side of the body (baby’s right foot). It is located just slightly to the left of the spot called solar plexus.

2) Very gently press that spot and circle around and around.

Don't forget to give your beautiful baby lots of lovely little kisses all over her tiny feet!

I would love to hear how you managed with these points and techniques. Please send an email to: Lori.read@icloud.com, and use "Baby has Infant Reflux" in the subject line.

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