Book review – REFLUX REALITY A GUIDE FOR FAMILIES by Glenda Branch in Association with the Reflux Infants Support Association (RISA)
Reflux in an infant is a surprise when it happens. Usually it is an unpleasant, even overwhelming, surprise. Very few of us expect our baby to have reflux. So dealing with it is not part of normal skills or information everybody has. So putting much of the information in one book is a blessing for those who have to go through a rapid learning curve, either as a parent, relative, or professional. Reflux Reality – A guide for families, is such a book. It is written by Glenda Blanch whose experience, personal, professional and as part of the RISA parents support group, has provided her with the expertise to pull together the many aspects of reflux into one easy to read book. It is available in bookshops in Australia now. Find RISA at www.reflux.org.au.
Each parent becomes familiar with the one infant they are caring for with his or her own version of reflux. The book helps with this by providing hints and suggestions, But it does much more. Reflux Reality covers the full breadth of all that can happen with reflux, so you get a broader view of your own child in relation to others with more, less, or different problems and what can be done.
Check out the table of contents to see the topics covered: general and medical information, management – covering positioning, sleep, feeding, with chapters providing perspectives by a dietitians and a speech therapist. Breadth is provided by covering medicines, complementary medicine, tube feeding, and surgery. The book also includes reflux related issues, many topics on the impact of reflux in the family, and, importantly, coping with this condition. As well personal stories are included.
Where food is concerned there is much information especially managing the reflux that occurs after food intake. Speech therapy has a place in management and the chapter by the speech therapist shows all the detail.
All the little issues that make introduction of solids complicated are magnified where reflux is present, so the dietitian’s perspective provides detailed action to take. These hints mean that parents are watchful about all the factors in food that may affect food acceptance, and so are able to minimise the fussy eating that is often associated with reflux.
The possibility that food sensitivity may occur in babies with reflux is still not commonly known, yet it can have a major effect in reducing the symptoms in susceptible babies. It can reduce all the usual food sensitivity symptoms such as irritability, settling and sleep problems, colic, eczema and other allergies, and it can reduce the reflux itself. This can make a big difference to discomfort in the baby and management for the parents. Read the chapter to learn more.
As a dietitian who has helped many parents whose babies have reflux I am happy to suggest that all professionals dealing with this complicated disorder will learn more and so enhance their own clinical practice by reading Reflux Reality.
This is a book for all parents, relations and all professionals who want to understand reflux better to decrease the discomfort and so enhance the lives of infants with reflux, and their families.
Joan Breakey Specialist Food Sensitivity Dietitian