Before Albert was born I kind of thought that second time around breastfeeding a baby would be easy, or at least easier than the first! This time around there was no need for nipple shields to coax him on, no need for all day and all night pumping for topping up and I didn’t have to heat up bottles of formula last thing at night to get him to sleep either.
However, Albert just cried and cried, poor little mite. He just seemed in pain all he time. I couldn’t work out what was going on. He fed continually night and day, hourly until about the age of 6 months. He refused to feed from my right boob as well, meaning that it became so painful and I had to self pump the milk continually. So, I managed to becoming a pro at the Rugby hold under my right armpit, just to tempt him.
I remember we went away on holiday and stayed in a lovely place near Cromer. But Albert just cried and cried and cried and I carried on trying to feed and feed and feed, particularly in the evening. Evening after evening. We got no rest that holiday, it was absolutely exhausting. Everyone kept on saying that it was a phase, but this phase just never stopped.
I really really empathise with anyone going through this with their baby. It is the most difficult thing to cope with because whatever you do, your baby just cries and cries and is sick and cries and cries some more. As a mother, you just want to make your baby happy and you just don’t seem able to. You feel completely useless and helpless.
We tried everything, Gaviscon, Colif, Infracol, Prune Juice, Gripe Water. Gaviscon in particular was useless and made him totally constipated, which in turn led to other problems and more crying.
We also were advised to raise the head end of his cot up by about 30 or 40 degrees and to hold him upright after feeds as much as possible. Albert didn’t like lying down in a buggy or pram one little bit, bless him. He just wanted to be on me and carried all the time. This is when I started to use an old Kari-Me sling and really couldn’t do without it from a reflux point of view. I had to learn how to use it just to keep my sanity. It was a godsend.
Then someone I dance with told me that her sister’s child had really bad reflux and colic and she said that although it sounded a bit hippyish, I should try giving Slippery Elm Bark Powder a go.
It was to be made in a hot drink form with a little sugar, which apparently was used with infirm people or people who had very poorly tummies. I believe that it was used centuries ago in America. Anyway, after much laughter from friends and family, I tried it and suddenly, our house was calm again. I drank a lot of it! It was kind of like a thick Horlicks drink, which I really got a taste for! I drank it night and day. I don’t know if it was this or his age, but we never looked back! It was supposed to chunk all your food together enabling it to pass through the gut more easily as well as a lining the tummy.
A doctor friend at the time told me to go to my doctor and to ask for Losec, which they didn’t really like giving out because of cost. I was about to try this and then I found Slipper Elm Bark.
It is really so hard having a baby with reflux or colic but please do not give up. It will get better but if you don’t want to try my remedy, then pester your doctor for the proper remedy to make your baby better and don’t give up.
Written by Victoria Trevor from Kangaroo Together (https://kangaroo-together.co.uk)