Posts Tagged ‘spit-up’

What is reflux?

Friday, November 10th, 2017

All babies spit up at times. But if your baby spits up more than usual, she may have gastroesophageal reflux or simply reflux. Reflux is common among premature babies. Most babies outgrow it after a few months.

What happens when your baby has reflux?

  1. Food first passes through the mouth and the esophagus into the stomach. The esophagus is the tube that connects the mouth and the stomach.
  2. Once the food is in the stomach, it comes back up the esophagus and out of the mouth.
  3. Most babies with reflux are less bothered by it than their parents. They grow and develop normally.

What can you do?

With time, reflux usually goes away on its own. However, there are some changes you can make to how you feed and position your baby that may help:

  • Hold your baby upright during feeding.
  • Try smaller, more frequent feedings.
  • Burp your baby often, especially if you are feeding her with a bottle.
  • Try a different nipple on your baby’s bottle so she swallows less air.
  • Ask your baby’s provider if you can thicken expressed breast milk or formula with a small amount of rice cereal.
  • Keep your baby still after feeding.
  • Raise the head of your baby’s bed 30 degrees or so.

If changes to how you feed and position your baby don’t seem to help, talk to your baby’s provider to see if medication may be an option.

When should you call your baby’s health care provider?

Some babies may have other problems digesting food. Call your baby’s health care provider if she has any of these symptoms:

  • The spit-up is bright yellow or green.
  • There is a large amount of spit-up.
  • Your baby arches his back or cries during feeding.
  • Your baby vomits with great force (projectile vomiting).
  • Your baby refuses to eat or is irritable after feeding.

Have questions? Text or email AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

Babies spit up a lot

Friday, August 9th, 2013

burping babyAll of us who have handled a baby probably have been spit up upon, and probably more than once. Such is life. But if your baby is spitting up all the time, does it signal a more serious illness? Is medicine called for? How do you know how to tell, what to look for?

The FDA has just released a new FDA Consumer Update: “Babies Spitting Up—Normal in Most Cases.”  It will help you learn how to tell the difference between normal behavior and cause for concern and what to do in each case. It’s a good reference tool – check it out.

What is reflux in infants?

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

All babies spit up or throw up now and then. But some do so more often than usual. This is called reflux. Reflux is short for gastroesophageal reflux or GER. Reflux is common among premature babies, but full-term babies can have it, too. The good news is that most babies outgrow it after a few months. Only 1 percent of babies are still spitting up after their first birthday.

Here’s what happens with reflux. Food first passes through the mouth and the esophagus into the stomach.  Once the food is in the stomach, some of it comes back up the esophagus and out of the mouth all over Junior and often you, too.

Most babies with reflux are less bothered by it than their parents. They grow and develop normally while Mom and Dad worry if their child is getting enough to eat. But for a few babies, reflux is more serious and the baby needs medication to make sure reflux is not dangerous and that he is growing well. In rare cases, surgery to tighten the muscle that regulates the flow of food into (and back out of) the stomach needs to be tightened. This procedure is called a fundoplication. The University of California, San Francisco has a good article about pediatric fundoplication at this link.

If your baby is otherwise healthy and putting on weight, the doc probably will take a wait and see stance. In time, your little one should outgrow this messy condition. But if your baby’s doctor feels there is a possibility of a more serious condition, she may recommend a few tests. Tests can include blood and urine tests, an analysis of the acid level in your baby’s esophagus, possible x-rays of the upper gastrointestinal tract (an upper GI series).

If you are facing reflux, you may want to know more. For feeding tips and to learn when to call your baby’s health care provider, read this article.

Reflux

Friday, September 17th, 2010

burping-baby1Those of us with children have, at one time or another, been on the wrong end of some spit-up.  If you have a baby, there is just no way to avoid it.  Spitting-up is normal but some babies may suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (or GERD).

With GERD, a baby’s stomach contents, including the stomach acid, come back up out of the stomach and into the esophagus. This causes burping, heartburn and spitting up.  GERD is common in premature infants.  Some common signs of GERD include:

• Frequent spitting up or vomiting after feedings
•  “Wet burp” or “wet hiccup” sounds
• Pain, irritability or crying after feedings
• Difficulty sleeping
• Difficulty gaining weight, or weight loss

Less common symptoms include swallowing problems, gagging, hoarse voice, sore throats, and failure to eat more than a few bites of food, which may result in an infant failing to grow and gain weight as expected.

There are a few things you can do if your health care provider has diagnosed reflux to help make feedings a more pleasant experience and reduce your baby’s discomfort: 

• Feed the baby in an upright position (sitting up).
• Talk to your health care provider about thickening feedings (some have found this helpful while others notice it increases coughing fits).
• Avoid overfeeding.  Give smaller feedings, but more frequently.
• Burp your baby often.
• After feeding, help your baby to remain in an upright position for at least 30 minutes.

These suggestions can be helpful for all parents, even those whose babies spit up only occasionally and do not have GERD. 

If none of these steps help, or if your child seems underfed, is not gaining weight, or is losing weight, talk to your health care provider.  There are prescription medications that may be beneficial. And sometimes surgery may be necessary.  Rest assured however, most babies outgrow reflux after about one year.

Did your preemie or full-term baby suffer from reflux?  What worked for you?

Returning to work

Friday, August 7th, 2009

It’s 7:30am. “Would you like to turn the Out-of-Office-Assistant off?” I hesitate for a moment then click “YES”.  It’s official. I’m back. It’s been six months and it feels weird to type. My hair is still wet from my shower and I have a little dried spit-up on my shirt. Or is that toothpaste? I don’t even care. I haven’t slept for more than four consecutive hours or  thought about anything else but the baby since the moment I laid eyes on her. I’m worried that I don’t remember how to do things anymore. Thank goodness for spell-check. Speaking of…where did the spell-check button go, Lindsay? Pam? Ivette? I swear it was in the upper right hand corner of the screen when I left. OK. This is pathetic. My eyes are already from tired from the computer screen. Seriously…how do women do this?

We have some information on our website from Working Mother Magazine about making your return to the workplace easier after having a baby. Perhaps I need to read it again.

Now that I’m back to work I’ll be posting on baby-related issues every Friday. I have a ton of funny and not-so-funny stories to share about being a first-time-mom and caring for a new baby. I need all the support and encouragement I can get so I’d love to hear from you. TGIF and see you next week!