Even though we’ve increased Liliana’s Zantac to 1ml twice a day, she is still gagging and throwing up. We’re just now starting to realize that her refusal to drink from the bottle may be related to pain from her reflux. Liliana doesn’t cry or scream very much, so we didn’t know she was experiencing pain until I googled about refusing the bottle and came upon this webpage which states:

A baby who struggles with eating (newborn or early infancy) may have the following symptoms:

  • Turns away from bottle or breast
  • Cries or fusses when the bottle is presented
  • Takes a long time to eat a small amount of formula or breast milk
  • Skips feedings without distress
  • Cries and fusses during a meal
  • Chokes, coughs or vomits during or after a meal
  • Seems hungry but refuses to eat
  • Takes a few sips, then begins to cry
  • Spits out formula or breast milk
  • Seems distracted during feeding

A baby who turns away from the bottle or breast and cries during eating may be reacting negatively due to pain from reflux. Every sip of milk may burn the throat and esophagus. A doctor may call this pattern of eating Feeding Aversion.

There are times when Liliana gets hungry and shows it by opening her mouth into a big O. When we put the bottle nipple in, she’ll take a little bit of milk and then make a disgusted face. She’ll push the nipple out with her tongue and will let any milk that comes out to dribble down her chin. When we remove the offensive milk source from her lips, she’s back to opening her mouth!

She will then get really fussy and cry, waving her arms around. We proffer the nipple again and again, and sometimes she will take it in and drink maybe 10 – 15 ml. Once we are successful in getting that little bit of milk into her, she’ll push the nipple out, we’ll burp her, and then it’s back to square one in trying to get her to eat more.

When Liliana gets this way, she readily takes the pacifier. It makes sense if you think about it. She’s hungry and wants to suck, but swallowing is painful. Thank goodness we have a feeding tube in her so that we can get milk in her stomach, but one wonders how much it affects her reflux.

Sean and I believe that the best way for us to alleviate her pain is through medicine. We don’t think that the Zantac is helping her anymore (or even if it ever did) so I will have to call the doctor tomorrow and ask if there are any other medications that we can try. Until then, we’re just going to give Liliana her feedings through the tube and let her suck on the pacifier so that her esophagus can have some time to heal.