The treatment of reflux depends upon the infant's symptoms and age. Some babies may not need any treatment, as gastroesophageal reflux will resolve in many cases without treatment. Healthy, happy babies may need only to be kept upright after they are fed.
Overfeeding can aggravate reflux, and your healthcare provider may suggest a different feeding schedule. For example, smaller volume with more frequent feedings can help decrease the chances of reflux.
If a food allergy is suspected, your healthcare provider may ask you to change the baby's formula (or modify the mother's diet if the baby is breastfed). If a child is not growing well, feedings with higher calorie content or tube feedings may be recommended.
If your child is uncomfortable, or has difficulty sleeping, eating or growing, the doctor may suggest a medication. Different types of medicine can be used to treat reflux by decreasing the acid in the stomach.
Although these medications will help protect your child's esophagus from damage due to reflux, the medicines are unlikely to completely cure the spitting up.
Very rarely do infants have severe gastroesophageal reflux that prevents them from growing or that causes breathing problems. It is rare for infants to require surgery for gastroesophageal reflux. If surgery is necessary, your baby's doctor or nurse can discuss treatment options with you.