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.
My name is Fran, and I have two children, Carmen and Flynn.
My pregnancy with Carmen was a fun one. I followed all the ‘rules’ regarding eating, chemicals and the works. I had to give up work fairly early into my pregnancy as I had incredibly bad exhaustion, fluid retention and all-day sickness. Pretty good start to that beautiful glowing pregnancy that all those books rave about. I have a bicronate uterus and she turned breech at 32 weeks: one foot under her chin and one in my pelvis, apparently a less than two percent chance of this happening!
Ella was a very much wanted baby who was our little miracle after assisted conception medication was taken and then a high risk pregnancy. Almost as soon as she was born she was crying and screaming for long hours.
General health titles in the RISA library
So if you’re a reflux parent you know how few people understand what you’re going through. And that includes medical professionals – not just your relatives and friends. That’s why RISA exists, right?
While the prevalence of GORD in the general infant population runs somewhere between ten and 20 percent(1), the incidence among premature infants is significantly higher ‐ recent studies suggest around 90%!(2) Perhaps unsurprisingly, the incidence among the general infant population is not dissimilar to the incidence among the general adult population.
Did you know:
1. Reflux affects up to 8% of children and a higher % of infants
2. Some estimates put it as high as 1 in 5 babies
3. It is estimated that 65‐85% of premmie babies suffer with GORD
4. In 2005 there were 259,800 births in Australia
5. Over 34,000 babies are likely to suffer with reflux in Australia
I had a pretty normal pregnancy with Jude, ate everything I should stayed away from everything that was warned about. No drinking, smoking raw meat, eggs, cold meats, salad bars takeaway. The list goes on. I didn’t die my hair and I didn’t use chemicals to clean. Why am I telling you this? Just in case there is another reflux mum reading this, It is nothing you did. I did everything right and at 3 years old my son still suffers from silent reflux.
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.