10 Things You Can Do For A Family Dealing With Paediatric Reflux

21 April, 2013
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I am on my soap box today. The little fire in my belly has been growing for a few days now and has culminated into this post. Did you know International Pediatric Reflux Awareness ends today? Did you even know it exists?

Many of you may know a family with a baby or child suffering with reflux. Some of you may even be that family. This post is to bring awareness to just how debilitating it is for a family as a whole when one or more children suffer with thishorrible disease.

Excuse me if I sound ranty. I am. I believe charity starts at home and the moment you hear a parent mutter the words reflux I CHALLENGE YOU to spring to action.

These families need physical support and most won’t have the words left in their exhausted state to ask. Never presume everything is all fine and dandy. Cause I can assure you it isn’t.

Here are some ideas on how to help.

1. Grocery Shopping This is an impossible task with a little refluxer and soul destroying for the parent when every other shopper decides to voice their opinion on why the baby is crying. So, you need to either ask for a list and head to the shops for them or pack yourself up and head into the warzone for some babysitting. Let that Mumma out of the house on her own to grab her groceries. Hell if you are really brave tell her to grab a coffee and take some extra time out before she comes home. Now chances are the baby is going to cry. You need to hold him/her and remember that the hour or so you spend doing this is nothing on the hours his parents do it. If you can spare the time, ask if you can make this a weekly event.

2. Washing There is always mountains of it with a refluxer. So head into the warzone and be prepared to stay until the last load is off the line and folded and put away.

3. Cook up some frozen meals and drop them over. Nutrition is so important and more often than not the exhausted Mum is starving and she barely recognizes it.

4. Offer to do some gardening. If there are other children in the family take them outside and give the outside a little facelift with some mowing and weeding. These jobs fall by the wayside when reflux is about.

5. Siblings On the topic of other siblings…do they go to school or daycare? Can you do the drop off or pick up? Or what about taking them out for a play at the park so Mum and Dad have one less thing to worry about.

6. Driving Can you become the driver when a specialists appointment come up? We all know we shouldn’t drive when tired but what reflux parent isn’t utterly exhausted? If you can make the time do it. Allow Mum to just sit in the car and maybe go through in her head what she needs to tell the specialist.

7. Exercise Send Mum out for a walk during witching hour. She may not agree at first but the fresh air will do her the world of good, so will the peace and quiet. Then when she comes home UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES tell her it was a freakin nightmare. She knows that. Tell her everything was fine and ask her how she is feeling.

8. Hairdresser How is your hairstyle? Nice is it? Had a trim only last week? Well that’s great. Had you noticed your reflux parent probably hasn’t had one in a very long time. Get them to make a booking and do some babysitting. (See you’re becoming a pro now)

9. Clean Once a month set out half a day to clean their house. Send the family out. Tell them you are ever so proud of them for all they do for their child/children and this is your gift to them.

10. Beware Lastly, if you stumble onto a really bad day. During what maybe is a ‘reflux flare’. Don’t leave thinking you can’t help. You can. Anything is better than nothing. Just you being there being supportive and making a cup of tea will change the negative course of the day.

Now I have written this, I feel better. I so desperately want reflux families to be better physically supported and the only way I can think to kick this off is to make you all understand better. I hope I have helped you to help them.

Do you accept my challenge then?

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  • Kath21 April, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    What a great article!
    As a mother who has had two reflux babies, the first particularly bad, I can attest how much difference these “little” things can make.
    My husband used to regularly come home after a long day at work, only to find a screaming, red-faced, inconsolable baby, and an exhausted sobbing wife – at my wits end because I had literally spent the whole day just trying to settle my baby.
    I remember driving to the hospital one day for one of those specialist appointments and nearly getting wiped out by a truck, because I was so completely and utterly exhausted that I just drove straight through the roundabout.
    What made things particularly worse for me was the fact that I had no family support, and my need to “keep up appearances” meant that I was continually running on empty and was too embarrassed to ask (or scream!) for help.
    I am sure that your article will help many people better understand this terrible disease and motivate them to provide the support to these families that they so desperately need.
    Thank you@

    • Mrs MMM22 April, 2013 at 7:29 pm

      Oh goodness me Kath you had a terrible time and one that is far too familiar to reflux parents! I really hope too people read this and offer a helping hand.

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