Image Map

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Acid Reflux Sucks Balls

For those of you unlucky enough to have to deal with the life-suck that is acid reflux, I am ridiculously sorry. I, too, have reflux and know it sucks donkey balls. The ridiculous burning in your chest and throat can be unbearable. And don't even get me started on how bad it can be during pregnancy.

So, what sucks even worse than having acid reflux? Having a baby with it. Watching your helpless baby suffer when there is not a whole lot you can do and waiting while Drs make you go through a string of hoops to get the medicine you need is a hell no parent should have to go through. A hell you feel hopeless to escape.

Per the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of infant acid reflux may include:
  • Spitting up
  • Irritability during or after feedings
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Refusing to eat
  • Crying when placed on his or her back, especially after a feeding
  • In severe cases, your baby may arch his or her back while crying and this may look like your baby is having a seizure.
The Cool Cucumber had signs of reflux starting around six weeks. Things went like this: He would seem super hungry. We would feed him. He would take maybe an ounce. He would start wailing and arching his back like crazy. He would refuse to eat any more. Wash, rinse, repeat. All day. Every day. For a week. SUPER FUN! He never really spit up too bad, just the crying and the arching at all feedings.

So we started the super awesomeness that is the game of getting a true diagnosis of acid reflux. If you have done this, it can be a long and arduous task. I would like to help you cut through that if possible. Let me drop some knowledge on you.

When you cry infant acid reflux to your pediatrician, there is a possibility they will think you are just one of the crazy mommies who doesn't know babies cry and are hard, so they will give you multiple bullshit-detecting steps to see if your baby really has reflux. They usually go like this:

Try cereal in the bottle.
This sucks because cereal really only fixes the spitting up (the symptom), not the acid reflux (the problem). It is also a huge pain in the ass. Cereal clogs the nipple (even if you use larger ones), causing the baby to suck air a lot of the time and get super pissed. Plus, it doesn't really fix the problem, just masks one of the symptoms. Though it does do a hell of a lot of good for reducing spit up, so it is great for helping with that. But, chances are, if your baby really does have acid reflux, the problem will persist even with the formula in the bottle. So then you will...

Get a Script for Zantac
Zantac is an acid reducer. It comes in a liquid form for infants. If your child has mild reflux, it will help a lot. You can get it at almost any pharmacy as it does not have to be compounded (made in house). If your child's acid reflux continues with age (some infant reflux goes away with age) and it is severe, Zantac will only work for so long. There is a max dosage and you hit it pretty quickly with an infant with severe reflux. If this happens, you will most likely…

Get a Script for Prevacid
If your baby maxes out on Zantac and still has acid reflux symptoms, their pediatrician will likely pull out the big guns: Prevacid. Prevacid is an acid inhibitor, whereas Zantac is an acid reducer. The names kind of spell it out: Zantac (zap it after the fact) Prevacid (prevent it from happening). I don't know about you, but I would rather prevent the problem before it starts rather than manage its symptoms after the fact. But hey, I drink too much, so maybe I am just crazy. Anyway. Prevacid is a godsend if your baby has severe reflux. We have had to up The Cool Cucumber's doses a few times, but other than that, it is amazing.

There are a few drawbacks to Prevacid though:
  1. Insurance companies can be dicks about covering it. Why? Hell if I know, they just are, so they might make you go through hoops to prove you need it. The hoops start with a history of trying Zantac and it not working...
  2. It is hard as hell to get. It is a compounded formula, so pharmacies actually have to make it when you order it, not just pour medicine from one bottle to another. This time costs money, so most pharmacies don't want to deal with it. Even Target doesn't make it! Also, it has an exact 30-day expiration date, so if you do find a pharmacy that carries it, don't expect to have it ready when you walk in to pick it up, even if you did call it in yesterday.
The moral of this whole story: don't give up. And be an advocate for your child if things don't feel right. Also, know your stuff about the medicine. Call to make sure you insurance covers it. Call to make sure the pharmacy offers it. Call before you leave to have them start compounding it. And, most importantly, don't beat yourself up. Infant reflux is a hard row to hoe, feeling like you are never doing right by your baby, but hang in there, things will get better.


  1. My first had acid reflux. I have never washed so many loads of laundry in my life! He projectile vomited on everything. I didn't have too much trouble getting Prevacid though...Im sure it's because I walked in the dr's office covered in spit-up with a screaming baby...

    1. My friends reflux baby was a horrible puker too. So sorry. Ha!

  2. That must be so rough; I'm sorry. At least when he's older, he has a good excuse to eat ice cream.

  3. Poor lil one! Yes, reflux does suck. I thought for sure I was dying from it last night. :(

  4. This is awesome! Ethan had reflux, too, and had to have some kind of compounded meds, not sure if it was Prevacid or something else. The PROLIFIC VOMITING was the worst of it (for me, at least). Ten clothing changes a day (for both of us), towels for burp cloths and bibs, the constantly smelling like old sour milk - even the clothes AFTER being washed... fun times, fun times.

  5. Thank you for this post. Our LO had acid reflux as well. And for first-time parents, it was terrifying to feed him and then watch him puke practically everything up. And he would cry and howl before AND AFTER a feeding. Because he was hungry before, and then after because he was in pain.

    Our dr was a godsend - she was very old school and would basically tell the AAP to go fuck themselves as far as "no cereal in bottles" and "no solid foods before 6 mos". The cereal in the bottle helped enormously for our hungry guy; he could keep the food down all of a sudden and then he was constantly in the hungry-pain cycle. Finding the large nipples was a PITA, though. No store seemed to carry anything but smalls.

    Prevacid was a major bitch. The only pharmacy that would fix it up was the hospital pharmacy. And they had really strict hours. So I would call at noon and ask if it was ready. "Sure!". And then I'd show up at 4:00 to get it after hubby was off of work, and it wouldn't be ready. And then it would take 30 minutes for them to get my "ready" prescription actually ready. ::eyeroll:: And you're right about insurance. We wound up paying for it out of pocket because going through the paperwork was getting ridiculous and LO needed it too badly. We learned that after two days being off of it.

    Solid food rectified it for him; once we were on baby food, he settled right down. No more pain, no more puke. And suddenly, two parents who looked forward to feeding time instead of dreading it. It was funny, I read so many books that said the "baby food stage" was the worst, but it was a relief compared to the liquid months for us.

  6. Acid Reflux is a very irritating disease. It makes a person uncomfortable. Acid present in the chest causes ridiculous burning in the chest. And its unbearable if continuously occurred. when I had this problem luckily I have found a remedy of it. Its peppermint, Peppermint is an herbal supplement which helps to remove acid from the stomach. Here is the detailed info about it
    Hope it would also work for others who want to treat it naturally.

  7. All 3 of mine had reflux #1 had it the worst. There would be a fountain of spit up, like a cartoon, coming out of the crib. He was miserable, I was miserable, DH ws miserable. I had this one know it all mother practically bitch me out for not doing the back-to-sleep thing. She inferred I was just being selfish and Secretly wanted him to die of SIDS. Maybe I was sleep deprived but that's what I heard.


I love hearing from you. It reinforces that writing this blog is not just a silly waste of my brain matter. If you leave a douche canoe comment, I will delete it. I am powerful like that.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...