Natalie’s slim body, swollen stomach, and her unrest, made it clear that indeed her parents distress is justified.
Tests, pharmaceuticals, special infant food, various treatments … at the age of 6 months Natalie still suffered from difficult and stubborn reflux.
GERD (reflux disease refund Gastro Esophageal Reflux) is a phenomenon that occurs primarily in infants (but not only). Due to the weakening of the lower esophageal sphincter, increases the stomach contents into the mouth accompanied by spitting up and vomiting.
In most cases, drug treatment and a special food are needed.
Situations of severe reflux, spanning over time, may have critical implications for the course of normal development of the baby – from malnutrition to motor and cognitive delays. The source is the experience of distress that creates restlessness and objective difficulties, and environmental response.
There is a great importance of early intervention and providing a comprehensive response to allow the baby and its environment (primarily mom and dad), to regain the trust of each other, find comfort in body and continue to develop normally.
When Shani and Ariel, Natalie’s parents, came to me with their daughter, it was evident that they are worried, exhausted and perplexed.
Natalie’s extreme thinness testified perhaps more than anything of her nutritional distress. Her restlessness seemed to reflect that of her parents…
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Where do we start?
First, it was important to allow Natalie to regain peace and serenity.
At the same time, it was important to address the distress of her parents and brother. The whole family circle was centered in the last months around Natalie’s problem – and the tension already left its mark in all.
In situations of reflux, parents tend to save their children from the prone position for fear that this will worsen the seizures. They usually avoid putting them on their stomach for fear of vomiting. Instead, they tend to hold theme in a vertical position and put them only or mostly on their backs and sit them in trampoline or different kinds of baby chairs.
Yet, the development of infants continues all the time. They need sensory stimulation to encourage them to develop normally in accordance with the stages of development of their peers, even though they suffer from reflux…
Baby who will not lie on his stomach or will not be placed on all sides of his body (back, belly and the two sides), baby who will not experience movement in different positions – Will not develop optimally and might get sensory and motor impairment.
I taught Natalie’s parents how to hold her in a way that would make her feel wrapped and protected. How to cradle her inside a cloth sling and in their arms, and move together with her to help her relax. Only then, when she became calm and her muscle relaxed, only then to lay her on her stomach.
The holding and integrated motion helped Natalie soothe her distress. The pain she felt in the esophagus moderated. Gradually abs and chest became more relaxed. At this point, she agreed to sleep on her stomachs. Not for long, but in a relaxed way … that was the beginning of this phase.
I explained to the parents, that Natalie’s ability to experience different positions on the mattress and in their arms, will give the correct stimulation to the vestibular system. This system will in turn improve her balance. With this practice, her inner muscles will have the necessary strength and flexibility and all these will substantially ease the severity of reflux.
Later indeed, she studied to raise her head while lying on the stomach resting comfortably on her forearms. From that, she learned to roll over, crawl, and get on her knees.
As Natalie learned to move on her own, so went the reflux and moderated.
Natalie’s parents, like many other parents in their situation, have become accustomed to a very gentle touch as they were trying to avoid worsening the reflux. That behavior is understandable, but wrong. Babies need to be touched in different ways. Besides caresses, they also need to get a deep touch that stimulates the proprioceptive system. Through such contact in the right parts of their body, we can help babies with reflux feel more comfortable and safe, improve the strength and flexibility of muscles, ease the severity, and greatly decrease in frequency of seizures.
Both babies with reflux as well as their parents are in a kind of vicious, exhausting and frustrating circle.
If, out of the desire to facilitate and reduce the inevitable bouts of reflux, we will deny our baby from lying on her stomach or from moving, if we will deny a deep touch and a strong wrapping hold from her, we will not support her to achieve the critical stages of development.
Development, which also brings significant relief to those suffering from reflux.
Because of Natalie’s situation at the beginning of the process, we had to rush to help her go back and rely on her body, her parents and on life.
In addition, we had to help her develop her autonomous mobility capabilities – roll over, crawl, and improve her balance system. These changes have enabled Interior muscle strength and flexibility and brought the long-awaited relief from reflux attacks.
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“Iris, my dear, how much good you brought to us.
Thanks to you we have learned to go back and see in Natalie, the baby we love so much.
Because of you we were able to break the vicious circle that was capturing us because of Natalie’s suffer… ”
(From a letter of the songs end our meetings).
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Reflux phenomenon comes in a variety of difficulties and frequencies. It is important to know how to make it easier for parents and baby. It is very important to allow the baby to experience and go through the stages of development in an optimal manner.
If you wish to consult, ask, learn – I am here for you »»
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