12 March 2018

Gastro-oesophageal reflux: A mixed methods study of infants admitted to hospital in the first 12 months following birth in NSW (2000–2011)

This study explored the maternal and infant characteristics, obstetric interventions, and reasons for clinical reporting of Gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) in NSW in the first 12 months following birth (2000–2011). One percent of infants admitted to hospitals in the first 12 months following birth had a diagnosis of GOR or GORD. Babies with GOR/GORD were more likely to be male and be admitted with other disorders such as feeding difficulties, sleep problems, and excessive crying. The mothers of these babies  were more likely to be first-time mothers, Australian born, give birth in a private hospital and have a psychiatric condition - particularly maternal anxiety, a preterm or early term infant (37-or-38 weeks), have had a caesarean section and the baby admitted  to intensive care. Thirty six percent of infants admitted to residential parenting centres in NSW had been given a diagnosis of GOR/GORD.  Mothers with a mental health disorder were nearly five times as likely to have a baby admitted with GOR/GORD in the first year after birth. The authors propose a new way of dealing with GOR/GORD that considers the impact of early birth, disturbance of the microbiome and mental health of the mother.