by maxs mom (594 Posts), Mon Dec 29, 2003 08:39 pm
It does sound like reflux, but don't rule out a protein allergy either. I have a 25 weeker now 11 months. Right after he came home from the hospital, he started throwing up. Sometimes 3 or 4 times a day, sometimes not. My pedi referred us to the GI doctor. We played trial and error with meds. First he was on Zantac, and the only way I could get him to take it was put it in the breastmilk. My doctor said this causes it to loss effectiveness, so give it straight, he absolutley hated it. So we finally put him on Prevacid, I had to mix it myself, but I tell you it tasted 100 times better. The GI doc also recommend that I take dairy out of my diet, so I did. The "reflux" as they called it was random, one day he'd throw up several times, then he would go a week without. At the same time, I was adding "fortifer" to the breastmilk (my son was only 1 lb 3 oz at birth so he was way behind on growth and needed to catch up) The fortifier we added was hypoallergenic, called Nutramigen. I would put a scope into every bottle to add extra calories. Over a month, he became more and more difficult to feed. What was happening is he would take a little of his bottle and start to squirm. A classic sign of reflux, but the minute we stopped feeding him, he'd stop fussing. So I was confused. And by the way, when they say take dairy out of your diet, I didn't realize how many things had dairy, so I wasn't being 100% about it. Anyway, after he started getting so difficult to feed (this was by the way about 4 months after he was out of the hospital, just to give you an idea of how long diagnosis takes sometime) I finally said something isn't right. He had been on the reflux meds for a long time and he still didn't seem better. And his behavior with feeding was awful. Some people said it was a behavioral issue, that intubated preemies often had nipple adversion. I didn't buy it. Finally a thought popped up, maybe he was realy allergic to milk. And even though the nutramigen is hypoallergenic there is still a simplified milk protein in it. Sure enough, we took the formula away and I really stopped eating dairy and his behavior approved 100% in just one day. It was amazing.
Now here is the tricky part that many people don't know and I wish I did, because during the one bad month we had, Max gained a very small amount of weight. My doctor told me that 80% of babies with Milk protein allergy can tolerate Nutramigen, while only 40% can tolerate soy protein based formulas. My guy is in the rare 20% who needs a fomula called Neocate, made in the UK, this he tolerates and he takes one bottle a day, because after a year of pumping I don't quite produce enough breastmilk for all of his feedings. He still throws up from time to time, but it is usually explainable, e.g. I ate something unknowingly with milk in it or he was coughing and gaged. So anyway, what you might do is change the babies formula to Nutramigen (allimentum is the same thing, but it doesn't taste as good) and see if there is an improvement. If not, it probably is reflux. A tell tell sign of reflux is not only throwing up, but discomfort AFTER the feeding is over. I have heard a lot of parents say they couldn't put there baby down for an hour after they feed them because they would cry and fuss. I only recommend you eliminate the posibility of an allergy first, because these meds can cause some liver problems in the long run. But don't worry if they are absolutely needed, the DR should do a blood test to check liver function about a month or two after the meds start.
I hope this helps!
Mom to Max, 25 weeker, 1/20/03