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How do doctors treat GERD?

Doctors can treat GERD with medications and changes to your child’s diet or mealtime routines. Other treatments used before giving medication can include:

  • Changing your baby’s position during feeds
  • Keeping them upright for 20-30 minutes after feeds
  • Thickening their milk or formula

Medications for GERD help make the stomach less acidic. These medications help ease discomfort or heartburn that may happen with GERD.

These medications may or may not reduce how often your baby has GERD episodes or how severe the GERD episodes are. They should help your baby feel more comfortable during GERD episodes and continue to feed well. Over time, most babies come off these medications after 6 months of age.

When should I see a doctor about my baby's GERD?

Your baby may need to see a doctor if they:

  • Are uncomfortable during GERD episodes
  • Are not feeding well and or losing weight

Most episodes of reflux naturally and gradually stop between 6-12 months of age.

What else will the doctor check for at my baby's appointment for GERD?

Depending on your baby’s medical history, a gastroenterologist may consider imaging or testing your baby's stool for blood to determine whether there is another reason for their GERD. This could include checking for abnormal intestinal anatomy (a physical difference in their stomach or intestines) or an allergy.

Rev. 10/2019. MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.