Too Many Babies Receive Acid Reflux Meds, Says Pediatrician

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Mothers who are breastfeeding should try tweaking their diets, like taking out caffeine, chocolate and garlic, which are known to promote acid reflux. Try smaller, more frequent feedings and hold the baby upright during feedings. To calm crying babies, rhythmically rock them or take them on a car ride, experts said.

"I think there are very limited reasons, if any, to use these drugs," said Dr. Ian Holzman, chief of newborn medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "The risk is that eliminating gastric acid leads to a change in the normal bacteria in your GI track, which could have implications for infection, immunity and digestion. Most, maybe all, babies spit up and no treatment is required. I know of no good evidence that this practice has a value."

"Parents can hardly be blamed for becoming rattled and concerned about their crying infant," said Hassall. "It is important to acknowledge their concerns, explain the spectrum of normal infant behavior, discuss the range of measures available, start implementation, and be available for follow-up."

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