Reflux mums will know

Every now and then a well meaning friend links me to an article that has been written on reflux. Usually the article is about how not many babies actually have reflux, and that we are over medicating our children. I am pretty sure the author of such articles never had a reflux baby of their own. Surely, that has to be it? Reflux mums will know.

reflux mumx will know~

Reflux mums will know that cry. That constant blood curdling scream that starts right down in the belly and sends a cold ball of dread into your soul. The scream that pierces your skin, shatters your bones and crushes your resolve.

Reflux mums will know the postures too. The back arched so far that your baby becomes impossible to hold. The stiffness of the arms and legs and neck so that your baby is more like a plank of distressed wood than a soft and loving infant. The knees drawn up to the chest and the squirm squirm squirm that never ends. 

Reflux mums will know the loneliness. Being up hours beyond anyone else, clutching your baby to your body and waiting for morning. The cancelled baby groups and coffee mornings that are just too much work with a screaming ball of vomit for a baby. The rushed and fraught school runs that you just have to get through.

You have to get through.

Reflux mums know the difference between a baby with colic and a baby with reflux. Yes, they really do. Reflux mums know the difference between a reflux baby on meds and a reflux baby left in pain. And reflux mums know how hard it is to be heard.

How can I be his voice when nobody will listen? How can I be his advocate when nobody believes me? How can I be a good mum when I’m unable to take his pain away?

The hiccups
The screams
The choking
The feeding aversions
The vomit
The fear…
Because it is scary. There is always that niggle at the back of your mind that tells you it might be something more. What you’re going through isn’t normal.

So yes, we medicate our babies. We don’t choose this, it chooses us. We don’t want to carry medication with us wherever we go, but we know the alternative is much much worse. The alternative crushes our spirit just that little bit more. To see the baby you love- the baby you would move heaven and earn to protect!- in pain and crying to you to help…

So we medicate. But we do not do it lightly. Many of us have battled own our inner demons before we make the GP appointment. Many of us have tried a different milk, a different sleeping positron or a different method of winding. Many of us have done all that we can before the prescription is even considered.

Reflux mums will know. It’s hard. Really hard. But reflux is real. It does exist and we do need you to understand. I

will be my baby’s voice- will you listen?


  1. July 15, 2015 / 8:23 am

    YES! This reflux mum knows! I heard “the” cry in the supermarket last week and looked up. The poor mama who greeted me looked exhausted, stressed and embarrassed. The poor baby sounded exactly like Syd used to. That “from the ankles” scream (as I used to call it) is like a siren to me now. I gave the mama a sympathetic smile and asked if it was reflux. She looked amazed I knew what reflux was, and nodded a little over enthusiastically in agreement. Reflux mums know.

    • ghostwritermummy
      July 18, 2015 / 8:14 am

      Oh gosh yes I can spot the screams too. In the last few months I have ‘diagnosed’ 4 babies with reflux, one of which was online! Ask me anything! haha x x x x

  2. July 15, 2015 / 10:05 am

    This is so tough. The hours of crying and not being able to help is awful. It makes it really hard to feel we are doing a good job. The reality is that all mothers coping with so much distress yet remaining that comfort for their babies are doing an incredibly hard and amazing job. We should pat ourselves on the back! Great post #sharewithme
    Kirsten Toyne recently posted..Are You The Family Coordinator?My Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      July 18, 2015 / 8:18 am

      It really is hard! In the early days I felt I couldn’t enjoy Elise at all and that breaks my heart x x

  3. July 15, 2015 / 10:43 am

    Great post! We thankfully never experienced this.. Thanks for sharing on #ShareWithMe
    Emma’s Mamma recently posted..16 monthsMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      July 18, 2015 / 8:19 am

      I’m glad you have no experience of reflux.. it’s awful! x x

  4. July 15, 2015 / 2:54 pm

    oh my goodness this has just made me cry. I knew it was a terrible and awful time when I was in ‘it’ with my first. It’s only since having my second baby, whose reflux I managed to control after a month, that I look back on the first few months with Baby Number One and feel genuinely sadness – for both me and her!!
    Sugar&Rhubarb recently posted..The Perils of the Night Feed ShopperMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      July 18, 2015 / 8:20 am

      Oh bless you! My first and third babies were fine, just Luka and Elsie with the reflux so I know only too well how a settled baby should be! Poor things, reflux is just awful x x x

  5. July 15, 2015 / 4:52 pm

    This is so true! I read an article like that recently and it made me so angry! Surely if it wasn’t reflux the medication wouldn’t work? I hate having to give LM medicine all the time but the screaming in pain that is the alternative is far far worse for all of us and I cant handle to have her in so much pain. Just another form of judgement to make us feel bad when we are doing the best we can for our babies. Fab post! Xx
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    • ghostwritermummy
      July 18, 2015 / 8:20 am

      Thanks lovely. It’s awful isn’t it? Nice to know others understand x x x

  6. July 15, 2015 / 7:11 pm

    I’m listening. P1 didn’t have reflux although that’s what the gps originally thought. She actually had pyloric stenosis and needed an op. Symptoms are very similar. I hope that Elsie grows out of this as soon as possible and it’s not a long lasting situation for you all. Bless her. And you.
    Jodie recently posted..Siblings July 2015My Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      July 18, 2015 / 8:21 am

      Thanks lovely x x x

  7. July 16, 2015 / 8:35 pm

    Yes this! I had a friend who thought her baby had reflux I talked about my journey with Aria, and she said of I don’t want to medicate my baby. I said of course that is your choice (and it is), but I also thought, then it’s not bad enough. I got to the stage where I took my baby who was screaming and beside herself to the doctor and said she has been like this for hours and is like this for hours EVERY DAY. I got my ranitidine prescription for her that day. Sending hugs because I know and I feel your pain xx
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    • ghostwritermummy
      July 18, 2015 / 8:22 am

      Nobody wants to medicate their baby but at the end of the day for some it is the only way they get some relief. And we are their advocates, we have to be there for them. It’s so hard isn’t it x x x

    • ghostwritermummy
      July 18, 2015 / 8:23 am

      Thanks lovely x x x

  8. July 18, 2015 / 4:10 pm

    We definitely know. I just wish I’d know what all the screaming and back arching was in the very early days so I could have got Toby medicated earlier and saved us both all the pain and heartache. I was glad that I realised, after probably 6 months med-free that he was still suffering with silent reflux at night and got him back on ranitidine. His symptoms are now pretty much entirely under control and I know we’ve been very lucky that his reflux isn’t linked to any allergies or food intolerance. So now, at the age of 2 we start the process of reducing his medication again and see if the symptoms are still there. I hope you have a quicker journey with Elsie and she grows out of it soon, for now though at least you know you are doing the best you can for her and all us reflux mums can do is try and support one another. I’m just hoping that baby number 2 doesn’t have reflux, but if he does then at least I’ll be able to spot it quickly and get him the help he needs straight away.
    Sarah (@tobygoesbananas) recently posted..From poppy seed to pumpkin: 36 weeks pregnantMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      July 19, 2015 / 9:09 am

      Yes for number 2 you will be much better prepared! Luka did grow out of it; he had a date for investigative surgery when he was 3 but he did grow out of it eventually and didn’t need to go in. Out of 4 babies, only 2 had reflux so you have every chance that the next one is fine! x xx

  9. July 24, 2015 / 3:17 pm

    This made me well up, every word took me right back to the worst reflux days with Toby and my heart aches for the pain her went through and continues to go through when his tummy gets upset my something. Sending love and hugs xxx
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  10. July 30, 2015 / 5:38 pm

    As you know I totally understand this and it really annoys me when there is the suggestion that you shouldn’t be medicating. If I could not give her, her meds I would. I would love for her to still not be suffering with it! I’ve got a video of her doing it and you can hear and see her swallowing the acid and screaming in pain. I keep meaning to post it! I don’t think you can understand how bad it can be unless you have been in the middle of it! Hugs xx
    Mummyandmonkeys recently posted..Allergy friendly BLW meal ideasMy Profile

  11. Amy
    February 9, 2017 / 6:32 pm

    I have two children who still suffer from reflux at 8 and 5 yrs. totally relate to his. Even at 8 I am still struggling to get his voice heard.
    It is so lonely as a mum of older children too as there don’t seem to be many of us around.

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