Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Infant Acupuncture for Reflux - Who knew?

I took all 3 to an acupuncturist on October 7 hoping it would make a difference with their GERD (reflux). My goal is to get them off the Pre.va.cid and get Julia and Emma eating larger quantities and greater varieties of food.

Now, let me preface this by saying that anyone who's ever had a baby in the NICU would understand that having your child undergo any kind of treatment involving needles ever again is beyond traumatizing.

I dreaded it. I avoided making the appointment with the acupuncturist despite the speech therapist's insistence that it has made a huge difference for other kids she sees who has reflux. The acupuncturist is also a RN, and the head of an acupuncture school. Still, I put it off. I just couldn't bring myself to take them.

Given that I had gone for acupuncture treatments during IVF, and I believe it can make a difference, I still dreaded it. Until finally, I closed my eyes and just did it. And now I'm scheduling follow-up appointments because the change is just.that.good.

But let me back up. The appointment itself went surprisingly well. The speech therapist met us there and worked with two while I answered the acupuncturist's questions and held the one receiving treatment. That worked great.

The babies were fine with the acupressure and cold laser therapy, and miraculously fine with the needles. The acupuncturist explained she didn't "have to" use the needles, and that we could "see how it went." That made me feel better, like I had an "out" if it was torturing them.

The needles were only in for a few seconds at a time. The acupuncturist worked gently and quickly. She used one in each of their feet, one in each of their hands, and one in their legs. Julia only complained about the ones in her hand, but it was a brief whine, not even a cry. Emma didn't like the one in her left hand at all - she let out a quick cry, and the acupuncturist decided to forego the one in her right hand. Ada was fine with the ones in her feet, thighs and hands. When the acupuncturist was working on her head and neck, she'd whip her head around to the side to sneak a peek at her as if to say, "Hey! What are you doing back there?"

They're such little troopers. I couldn't be prouder of them for tolerating it as well as they did. No mommy guilt, just relief.

There was also one funny moment with Emma wiggling her feet while the needles were in it. It was hilarious and totally relieved the stress and anticipation about what the experience would be like for me. I could tell she was thinking, "What the heck are those little things sticking out of my feet suddenly?! And WHERE did they COME FROM?" (The needles have little green tips - she was fascinated by them.)

They've only had one appointment and the most amazing thing has happened. (TMI alert.) Julia's metabolism kicked into gear and she now has daily dirty diapers. She's had trouble from the get-go, but the pediatrician kept reassuring me that nothing was amiss with her going every 3-4 days. In the NICU, her tummy was so distended on the day she was supposed to be discharged that they kept her there a few more days. She's not constipated, it's just that she's never been regular. Until now.

Let's hope her reflux will improve because of the acupuncture, and that she'll start to eat better because her bowels are emptying faster.


Anonymous said...

Yay! Glad it went well and that you're already seeing results. That's awesome!

runner00 said...

Where did you take your child? My infant is having similar problems and would like to take her to someone that knows how to work with infants