Reflux is a common condition in babies that most mums have either heard about or experienced. It involves the baby vomiting after most feedings and results in upset babies and worried parents:- not to mention an extraordinary amount of washing!
Silent reflux, however, is much harder to detect and can result in a very unsettled baby.
In silent reflux, a small amount of stomach acid and contents flow back into the oesophagus. However, unlike classic reflux, there is rarely any vomiting.
The discomfort caused by the stomach acid irritating the upper gut can cause the following signs and symptoms:
- Difficulty settling
- Frequent waking
- Can only be comforted by being in an upright position, especially after feeding
- Arching the back
- Noisy breathing
Sharon Franklin of North Shore Osteopaths has seen hundreds of mums who, after weeks with a distressed baby and the uncertainty of what is causing this, have finally been given the diagnosis of silent reflux.
What can you do?
- Small and frequent feeds with the head elevated, and continuing an upright position after feeding.
- Dietary sensitivities should be considered and explored. (If breast feeding, mothers may have to try an elimination diet to pin-point the irritant.)
- Homeopathic treatment or gentle antacids can also help calm the inflammation in the gut
- Osteopathic Treatment
Why Osteopathy can help
The irritation of the gut also causes local muscle and joint soreness and tightness in the area of the spine between the baby’s shoulder blades. This then sets up a vicious cycle where one maintains the other. Osteopathic treatment helps to break this cycle, as well as gently releasing any tension in the base of the skull which may be irritating the main nerve to the gut.
Sharon Franklin and her team are skilled in Paediatric Osteopathy and have a highly developed sense of touch. They use this, combined with a detailed birth case history and structural examination to determine the extent and location of any areas of restriction (strain patterns) in the baby's body. They then use extremely gentle manual techniques to resolve these strains in order to relieve discomfort and improve the body's function. This will allow the different body systems - the nervous system, the immune system, the muscular system and the circulatory system - to work effectively and optimally.
To find out more about Paediatric Osteopathy and silent reflux, ring for an appointment with North Shore Osteopaths on (02) 9907 8919 or visit our website www.nso.com.au.