A few things in the past few weeks have prompted me to share this part of my story. The story of my child’s journey with reflux is published elsewhere on this website and I am aware that most of the time our personal stories focus on the child.
This one focuses on me. My daughter had a rough, rough ride. No doubt about it. But the impact on me was also tremendous. Most reflux mums know what I mean.
This article should probably be titled ‘Reflux and Lack of Sleep’, as many refluxers experience both day and night time sleeping problems. Indeed lack of sleep is one of the main causes of distress for parents of refluxers and can put immense strain on your relationship with your child, partner, family and friends. It is helpful to start by clarifying what is ‘normal’ sleep behaviour and I use that term quite loosely, as every child is very different.
I wanted to be a mum more than anything else in the world. So that was the plan… meet a boy, get married and have a baby (or two!). I actually thought I’d be really good at it, but over the last 21 months I have considered myself wrong countless times.
There is often a lot of confusion between Lactose Intolerance and Cow’s Milk Protein Intolerance (CMPI); many people often think they are the same thing. To confuse things even more an allergy or intolerance to a food protein can cause a secondary lactose intolerance and they may be present together!
My name is Bianca and I have one child, Oliver; he is 1 year old. Oliver was diagnosed with silent reflux at 4 months of age by one of my closest friends, who happens to be our GP. Thank god for her. She witnessed one of Oliver’s screaming fits; these used to happen most days, sometimes a few times a day and go on for what felt like hours, but was probably 30 to 60 minutes of screaming and crying before my husband or I would be able to settle him and/or he would fall asleep from exhaustion.
Cate was born when Dylan was just 15 months old. Cate screamed and screamed. She comfort fed so much (in between the screaming and not sleeping) and was so on/ off my breasts that they used to bleed all over her face while I was trying to feed her. I thought I had an attachment problem so hired a lactation consultant who tried so hard to help me, and when in sheer frustration (and with people telling me it was my milk and to bottle feed) I weaned her at 4 weeks.
Always follow the SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping recommendations for positioning your infant for sleep. These suggestions are to help them sleep safely and reduce the risk of sudden infant death.