My Baby is Gaining Weight: Can They Still Have Reflux?

Baby is gaining Weight: Is it Reflux?


It really is time to call time on so many myths about reflux, colic and food allergies in babies. You may have a baby displaying signs of reflux, but they are gaining weight.

Does this mean that they cannot have reflux?

These myths are doing far more harm than good. They let the medics off the hook for not treating babies properly. They allow longer-term suffering to continue, and they completely ignore the knock-on effects on a mother's mental health, the emotional health of her partner and the stress this introduces into relationships that can ultimately damage the family unit.

This is part of a series of BULLSHIT posts. Keep tuned for more, and please share these as far and wide as you like on social media, email, etc. This knowledge needs to be shared so that the treatment of our most vulnerable little ones can be changed.


Let's Bust These Reflux Myths

Your baby is gaining weight, so they don't have reflux.


Babies with reflux can gain weight perfectly, gain weight excessively and lose weight depending on how their reflux is affecting them.⁣⁣


Excessive weight gain in babies... why does this happen?⁣⁣

Babies with reflux experience pain and discomfort of stomach acid burning and irritating their oesophagus. They learn very quickly that the act of feeding washes this acid back into the stomach, and so they ask for more milk to soothe the pain. ⁣⁣

Breastmilk also contains a natural analgesic (painkiller), so baby learns from experience that suckling and drinking milk soothes their discomfort.

Additionally, if the baby has trapped gas or constipation, they instinctively know that the act of feeding and swallowing stimulates peristalsis in their entire digestive system. Therefore, they drink more to move this along to be more comfortable.

Hence, the baby can be asking for food a lot, feeding a lot, and gaining more than enough weight, with or without vomiting some of the milk.⁣, because they are comfort feeding.


What if they are losing weight or gaining too slowly and dropping centimes?

In the case of a baby losing weight because of reflux, this happens because they cannot keep enough of their milk down to gain sufficient weight.⁣⁣ Or perhaps they are not able to simply drink sufficient milk (multiple reasons for this), or they might be passing milk through their digestive system too fast, and so there isn't enough time for the nutrients to be absorbed.

In all instances, the answer lies in figuring out the true underlying cause of their reflux and addressing that directly.


What about the babies who are following their centile cure perfectly?

When a baby is gaining weight perfectly or excessively, the answer lies in understanding why a baby is uncomfortable all the time and what is causing this discomfort. When we resolve the discomfort, the baby doesn’t need to ease their own discomfort and so starts to ask for milk on a hunger basis.⁣⁣

Then, the baby isn’t gaining sufficient weight; the answer lies in figuring out why the baby cannot keep their milk down and addressing that. Not changing the consistency of their milk to make it more difficult to vomit out. ⁣⁣


Yes, this helps some babies, however, the side effects of thickening agents are threefold: ⁣⁣

  1. They continue to absorb fluids as they pass through the digestive system and, therefore, contribute to constipation;⁣⁣
  2. They are complex carbs that many babies cannot digest properly, so they ferment in their gut, causing trapped gas, bloating, etc.⁣⁣
  3.  They fail to respect the fact that baby should be able to keep milk in their stomachs, and we should be asking why rather than forcing their stomach to do something different.

Our doctors do not apply this approach because the WHO does not tell them to. In fact, there is no recommendation ever to understand the cause of reflux.⁣⁣


What can you do to help your baby?

The answer for ALL babies with reflux, silent reflux, colic, CMPA or other allergies is the same:

  1. Understand the underlying cause
  2. Address that directly.

It seems relatively simple, and it is, with the right support and understanding. As a Baby Reflux Coach, I help you understand what is going on for your baby; through their symptoms, they are already telling you everything you need to know. I help you interpret those symptoms to tell a story that makes sense. And then, we can easily know what the actions for addressing the challenges are.

I have created the Reflux Free Baby System as a suite of online courses to help you understand what is going on for your baby and have the tools to support home on their journey.

Find out more here.


Don't feel alone anymore.

I never felt so alone as I did when my babies had reflux, and no one seemed to be able to answer my questions or explain to me what was going on.

Getting every bone in my body knew there had to be a better explanation.

I'm delighted to invite you to join the new Baby Reflux Community & App, a place where you will meet a community of like-minded parents seeking explanations and answers, AND tools to support you on your journey to reflux-free... including an e-copy of The Baby Reflux Lady's Survival Guide!

Click to find out more.


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