Monday 16 May 2016

Memoirs of a Nigerian Mum; Acid reflux

Motherhood is a challenging task filled with emotional highs and lows. It could get confusing sometimes. At points when you do not know what to do you find out there are myriads of advice which are often conflicting and leaves you confused. If you are Internet savvy you could try searching the challenging issue on the internet ; this could leave you even more confused. If it is a health-related issue, the best person to consult is your medical practitioner.

That said, I would love to share a then-scary experience I had. As a first-time mum, there were too many things I did not know and was wary of picking up advice easily. I cross-checked time and again before taking an advice especially when it had to to with my baby. My mum was (and is still) such a solid rock. She was always my first port of call. When she wasn't sure of the solution she always told me. I have never had any reason to doubt her solutions.

My baby was somewhere between one to four weeks old then; I had just breastfed and put him back to sleep when he cried out. I rushed to him and noticed he was gasping for breath, arching his back and foaming at the mouth. I panicked. I carried him in my arms, woke his dad up and we tried all we could, from rocking to trying to breastfeed, to praying and in fact everything we could think of. That was probably the longest one or two minutes of our lives as parents. I later found out our baby had what is called "acid reflux". Because I was feeling sleepy I didn't bother burping him  after breast feeding and I put him back to sleep, on his back. The air he swallowed during breastfeeding, the breast milk and his stomach acid refluxed back up towards his mouth leading to what I saw. Holding him upright helped ease the discomfort. I learnt and put into practice the following which ensured my baby never experienced such again.

(1) I made sure I burped him after each feed by keeping him upright with his head on my chest or on my shoulders.

(2) When it was almost impossible to burp him, like after those midnight feeds when I could barely keep my eyes open I lay him down on his left side; that ensures the stomach is positioned in such a way to keep food down as the inlet is higher than the outlet. Considering how young he was, I placed a folded wrapper at his back to hold him in that position.

(3) I cut off milk and other dairy products as well as gas-producing foods like beans and cabbage from my diet. This was largely because I noticed he had so much infant gas pain each time I ate food containing the  aforementioned.

My baby never had that experience again.


  1. Educating and life-saving. Thanks for sharing Chy.

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