Discerning Between Reflux And Reflux Disease
So how can you, the parent, tell the difference? Well, normal reflux is caused when your baby is too full, and his stomach simply cant hold all his food. Sometimes a burp is all he needs to release some gas and make room, and hell feel right as rain again. Sometimes, a burp and some of the contents he cant hold down comes back up too. Your baby is new to this whole digestion thing, so cut him a little slack. If hes really full, he may spit up a lot, but if once he does, he settles back down, rest assured, hes fine. As long as hes taking in more than hes spitting up, you shouldnt worry.
When pain accompanies the spit up is when you have cause for concern and that is the deciding factor for an accurate diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Sometimes babies experience the pain of GERD without the excessive spitting up, but thats only because the contents of their stomach, instead of being expelled, are re-swallowed. Other symptoms may include gagging, choking or frequent burping. The pain will understandably make him fussy and cause him to have trouble sleeping.
If the constant spitting up is causing him to have difficulty gaining weight, this can also be a danger sign as it could lead to serious complications including a failure to thrive.
Another cause may be when hes teething. At this time, babies generate more saliva and they swallow more saliva, causing them to spit up more.
How To Deal With Your Baby’s Spit
Many new parents wonder why their baby spits up so much. We asked the experts for the lowdown on this common concern, with tips for handling the mess.
Is your baby spitting up a lot after feedings? There’s usually no need to stress. “Seventy percent of infants under 3 months will spit up three times a day, and it’s even perfectly normal for them to be spitting up as often as 10 or 12 times,” says William Byrne, M.D., chief of pediatric gastroenterology at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, in Portland, Oregon. Keep reading to learn what causes babies to spit up and how to handle it.
When Should You Be Concerned About Baby Spit Up
When to call the doctor
If your baby shows signs of dehydration that include, a decrease in the number of wet diapers a sunken soft spot on the top of the head has a lack of tears when crying, is lethargic, or extremely irritabitable call your newborn‘s pediatritian for evaluation.
If weight loss is a concern: Normal infant spitting up should not cause a loss of weight. If this is a concern, the doctor should be contacted to check the child’s weight in order to compare this to previous measurements. If the spitting up is forceful and shoots out of the mouth . This type of vomiting can be a sign of a condition called pyloric stenosis. This condition usually appears in the first several weeks of life and is caused by an abnormal narrowing of the valve leading from the stomach to the intestine. This causes gradually worsening projectile vomiting after every feeding that usually develops over several days.
Affected children seem hungry between feedings and may lose weight or become dehydrated. Pyloric stenosis is diagnosed based on physical exam as well as an ultrasound or X-ray that shows the narrowing of the valve to the intestines. Pyloric stenosis is treated with a minor surgical procedure. If other worrisome signs of illness appear, including fever, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, or abnormal fussiness. If the material being spit up contains excessive mucous or blood. Generally, spitting up in newborns is not simple and should be evaluated by the doctor.
When Should I Be Concerned About Baby Spit Up
Is it normal for newborn to spit up milk?
It’s normal for babies to spit up breast milk or formula occasionally. For most babies spit-up is a quick, smooth flow of liquids up and out during or shortly after a feeding. Spit-up normally does not lead to distress or weight loss.
Is spit up the same as a burp?
Spitting up is the easy flow of stomach contents out of the mouth, frequently with a burp. Spitting up doesn’t involve forceful muscle contractions, brings up only small amounts of milk, and doesn’t distress your baby or make him uncomfortable.
Should I give my baby more milk after spitting up?
In most cases, you can milk feed shortly after your baby vomits. This helps to prevent your baby from getting dehydrated. In some cases it’s best to wait a little while before trying to feed your baby again. If you’re giving your child medication like pain and fever relievers, wait a bit so the meds don’t come back up.
How Do I Know If My Baby Has An Allergy
Some babies are allergic to the protein in cows milk formula. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
- blood or mucus in the babys poop
If your baby has any of these symptoms, tell your doctor. Also talk to the doctor before switching formulas.
If your baby has symptoms of a severe allergic reaction like sudden drooling, trouble swallowing, wheezing, or breathing problems see a doctor right away.
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What Is Normal Spit
Its normal for babies to spit up breast milk or formula occasionally. For most babies spit-up is a quick, smooth flow of liquids up and out during or shortly after a feeding.
Spit-up normally does not lead to distress or weight loss. Although spit-up can seem like a large amount of liquid , in most cases its actually only a small amount.
Although spit-up is common, complications called gastroesophageal reflux disease can develop for some infants.
Some signs that what your infant is experiencing is not normal spit-up but GERD are:
- choking on the spit-up as it comes out
- an unhappy, uncomfortable baby due to apparent heartburn or painful reflux all day long
- poor weight gain
If you see signs of GERD , its time for a trip to the doctor!
How Do You Soothe A Overfed Baby
When theyre fussy, feeding them may offer a quick fix however, if theyre not actually hungry, you may end up overfeeding them.Ways to soothe without overfeeding your baby Reduce stimulation. Play with them. Use repetitive motion with soft sounds. Find a routine that works for your baby. Try a pacifier.
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How Can I Keep My Baby From Gagging
Sometimes the force of your milk is so strong that it can cause your baby to gag and pull off of the breast. If this happens during feeding:
- Try nursing your baby in a more upright position . This may ease the force of the milk.
- Nurse in a side-lying position, which also might help slow the flow of milk.
- Make sure your breasts are not engorged or over-full. Nursing every 23 hours can help prevent engorgement. If your breasts are too full and youre concerned about a forceful letdown, express or pump a little bit of milk a few minutes before feeding time to avoid a strong letdown.
If your baby is pulling off and gagging or coughing during feeding, sit your baby up in a seated burp position. Gently pat the back to help your baby calm down before continuing feeding. If youve tried the steps above and this continues to happen, talk to your doctor or lactation consultant.
If your baby sometimes gags or chokes while taking a bottle of breast milk:
- Try a different nipple with a slower flow.
- Practice paced bottle feeding. This is where you slow down the milk flow from the bottle by holding it at less of an angle and allowing your baby to pause for breaks.
When Is Your Breast Milk Not Good
The World Health Organization recommends that all babies be exclusively breastfed for 6 months, then gradually introduced to appropriate foods after 6 months while continuing to breastfeed for 2 years or beyond. Stopping breastfeeding is called weaning. It is up to you and your baby to decide when the time is right.
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My One Month Old Baby Keeps Vomiting My Breastmilk
Question: My one month old just recently started vomiting up my breastmilk but not formula what could be the reason? I thought breastmilk was better then formula.Heidis Answer: Hi there, Throwing up a bit of milk is normal at this age. Most babies, whether formula or breast fed, do it. Vomiting more with breastfeeding may have to do with feeding position, maybe he is more upright when formula fed? Or your milk may spray out which makes him take in more air. If this is the case, press out the first gusts of milk before offering it to your baby. And always make sure he empties the first breast completely before offering the second side.Its worth trying these out because as you say breast milk is better, for so many reasons.If the vomiting is very frequent and in large quantities, and it comes out with force, that may point to a form of reflux.Please read the Baby Reflux Symptoms Guide for full details and to help you decide what is going on. Good luck,
Can Spitting Up Be Dangerous
Outside of the time where the baby spits up in sleep and the babys head is facing downward, spitting up is rarely dangerous.
It could be a symptom of a more serious medical issue though.
Here are some of the most important symptoms you should be on the lookout for:
Poor weight gain
The spit up is yellow or green in color
Loss of appetite or outright refusal to feed
Fussier than usual with frequent bouts of crying and temper tantrums occurring more regularly
Stool isnt as wet as it should be
The child is spitting up blood or a coffee ground-like substance
The spitting up starts in the latter half of his first year of life
If you notice any of these symptoms, its probably time to pay a visit to a pediatric gastroenterology specialist to have your baby checked up.
This way the problem will be diagnosed and can then be safely treated and eliminated before turning into a bigger complication.
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Is My Baby Eating Enough
Even if your baby spits up after every feeding, they’re probably taking in enough. Your pediatrician will evaluate your infant’s weight gain at their well-baby checkups. If everything’s on track, they’re getting the calories they need. It may seem like their whole meal is coming back up, but it’s likely less than a tablespoon, says Dr. Byrne. So don’t “top off” your baby with more milk if they spit up after eating. In fact, overfeeding can lead to even more reflux.
How Is Pyloric Stenosis Diagnosed
The doctor will ask detailed questions about the baby’s feeding and vomiting patterns, including what the vomit looks like. The doctor will do an exam, and note any weight loss or failure to maintain growth since birth.
The doctor will check for a lump in the abdomen. If the doctor feels this lump, which usually is firm and movable and feels like an olive, it’s a strong indication that a baby has pyloric stenosis.
If pyloric stenosis seems likely, the doctor probably will order an abdominal ultrasound. The enlarged, thickened pylorus will show on ultrasound images. The doctor may ask that the baby not be fed for several hours before an ultrasound.
Sometimes doctors order a barium swallow instead of an ultrasound. Babies swallow a small amount of a chalky liquid . Then, special X-rays are done that let the doctor check the pyloric area for any narrowing or blockage.
The doctor also might order blood tests to check levels of electrolytes . An electrolyte imbalance often happens due to the ongoing vomiting of stomach acid and dehydration, and needs to be corrected.
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Does My Baby Have Gerd
GER isn’t something to worry abouteven the healthiest babies have it. But for about 2 percent of full-term babies and a higher percentage of preemies, reflux causes pain and medical problems. In these cases, a doctor may diagnose gastroesophageal reflux disease . Telltale signs include a lack of interest in eating, extreme fussiness during feeding, wheezing, coughing, hoarseness, and failure to gain weight.
GERD is reflux in the extreme: So much acid splashes back up from the stomach that it irritates the lining of your baby’s esophagus. Your baby might try to relieve the discomfort by coughing, arching their back, or pulling their legs up to their tummy. If your baby has these symptoms, contact their pediatrician The doctor may recommend smaller, more frequent meals or additional burping.
AdditionalAri Brown, M.D., Parents advisor and coauthor of Baby 411 Grzegorz Telega, M.D., pediatric gastroenterologist at Children’s Wisconsin, in Milwaukee.
How Is Gerd Treated
Some experts believe that GERD is overdiagnosed and overtreated because of the availability and marketing of prescription medications. Such medications should be used sparingly in babies given concerns related to overuse. If your child is diagnosed with GERD, talk with your doctor about alternate strategies such as cereal-thickened feedings or antacids rather than prescription medications.
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What Home Remedies Help With Babies Spitting Up
Because spitting up is normal in infants, no treatment is required if the child is otherwise healthy and developing well. However, some changes in the feeding technique may help reduce the number of episodes or the amount of the spitting up.
The following feeding techniques may help with spitting up:
- Burp the infant frequently to prevent the build-up of air in the stomach.
- Feed more slowly to allow the stomach contents more time to empty into the intestines.
- Be careful not to feed too much at a time and to stop feeding when the infant seems full.
- Keep the infant upright after feeding for at least 15 minutes. This allows gravity to help prevent the stomach contents from coming up.
- Try to avoid significant activity immediately after feeds. Agitation of the stomach contents may result in more spitting up.
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Reflux Vomiting Can Be Prevented Or Reduced
Different positions for feeding or in bed can help reduce your babys chance of vomiting. You can try to:
- Feed your baby in an upright position.
- Prop your baby up after feeds.
- Lay your baby on the left side.
- Avoid bouncing your baby after feeding.
To help with mild reflux, you can thicken your babys food with cornflour or infant food thickener. If your child is uncomfortable after vomiting or will not settle, try giving milk or water. This will wash any acid back into the stomach. Some babies get heartburn, which is a burning sensation in the chest. They may be unsettled after feeding or when lying flat. Your doctor can suggest an antacid to relieve heartburn.
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