• Give yourself rewards and take pride in even the smallest achievements (this includes managing to have a shower in a 24 hr period!) ;‐)
  • Get out of the house! The crying doesn’t seem so loud when you’re out of the house.
  • Try to eat regular, healthy meals.
  • Consider using a sling – it may help you get things done while your child is upright
  • Roster sleeps
  • Try to sleep when/ if the baby sleeps. Take the phone off the hook. Don’t be afraid to put a note on the door saying something like “We are sleeping – please do not knock!”
  • Try to organise some regular time to yourself.
  • Additionally, try to organise some regular time with your partner without the baby. It can be very difficult but make the effort. Your relationship is important too.
  • Lift your mood – put on great music, browse old photo albums, blow bubbles for the bub – anything to relieve the stress.
  • Don’t expect to have all the answers from the beginning – it’s a steep learning curve
  • Accept you are doing your best and don’t be too hard on yourself
  • Try to focus on what your feel is going right, not what is going wrong.
  • Realise your situation is very tough; children with reflux can have very high needs and many people won’t understand what you’re going through
  • Trust your gut – do what you feel is right. Politely listen to advice but remember you know your child better than anyone.
  • Remember that reflux is a medical condition and it is not in your head.
  • Look after yourself.
  • Accept offers of help if they do actually help you.
  • Ask for help. Think of practical things others can do and ask for the help you need. It’s hard but it’s important. Often friends and family want to help but they don’t know what to do. Give them guidance and you’ll often be very pleasantly surprised.
  • Some days will be worse than others. Reflux can be cyclical. Don’t worry too much about trying to work out why one day is better than another.
  • Talk, talk, talk. Ring a friend. Bore your local coffee shop owner rigid. Use RISA Inc’s support network. Often you’ll workshop a new solution or just spilling your guts will make you feel better.
  • Encourage and allow your partner to participate in your child’s care.
  • Be unapologetic with health professionals in advocating for your child. Do not be made to feel like it’s your fault, or that you are the problem. If any health professional makes you feel this way – find a new one. It’s hard enough. Don’t let anyone make it harder for you.
  • Read specifically catered material. The usual baby books don’t apply to you. Get Reflux Reality or another specific reflux book and ignore the others. Soak up the information on RISA Inc’s website.
  • Be vigilant and on the look out for signs of Post Natal Depression. We parents of reflux kids get it way more often than the general population because of the level of stress and sleep deprivation we incur, often without respite. Don’t put up with it. Get help.

 


Adapted from Blanch, G., Reflux Reality: A Guide for Families, Michelle Anderson Publishing, 2010, pp 184 ‐ 191

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