Infants who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, deal with more than just a little spit up. The stomach acids and food that keeps coming up are often due to the underdeveloped lower esophageal sphincter muscle between the stomach and the esophagus. It can also be related to food allergies or a hiatal hernia. For some babies, this goes away after three months while others will have it so severely that it affects their ability to thrive and gain weight.
If your doctor has diagnosed your baby with GERD and your baby is on a formula diet, they may adjust the type of formula your baby needs. This may mean a change from milk-based formula to soy-based formula. However, the most effective product that is easier for your baby to digest is hydrolyzed protein formula. While it is still made from cow's milk, it is formulated so that it is easier to digest and less upsetting to your baby's stomach.
There are a wide variety of baby formulas on the market. Baby formulas from
Europe such as Hipp, Holle, and Lebenswert are made with bio-dynamic milk and do not contain artificial sweeteners or any additional sugars that your baby does not need. Hydrolyzed protein baby formula will make it easier for your baby to digest the milk proteins, but the process is full of chemicals that your baby does not need. Studies like the one published in the “Alternative Medicine Review” 2010 issue show that the lack of foreign ingredients help your baby strengthen their immune system. The stronger immune system means a stronger resistance to allergies, one of the potential causes for acid reflux.
If organic is the direction you want in your child's nutrition, Hipp Organic from Germany has an anti-reflux formula that settles the stomach with its thick texture from all-natural carob gum. At the same time, organic baby formula like Hipp breaks down easier in your baby's tummy.
Most babies will grow out of acid reflux by the age of one year old. You may find that a change to solid foods including rice cereal may help reduce the acid reflux events. However, be sure to consult with your doctor before making any changes to your baby's formula.