Sunday, November 22, 2009

Reflux vs Spit-up vs Vomiting

Mild reflux (bringing back milk up after ingesting/drinking the milk), I am told by my physician, is very common in newborns and infants. If the baby is spitting up just a little at the time of burping it is absolutely fine, she is just bringing up the excess milk that has not reached her digestive track and that is perfectly alright and in fact that is the reason you burp your kid, to remove the excess gas/air bubbles ingested during the feeding either by breast or by bottle. It usually sets itself right by the time the baby is 3 to 6 months of age and would slowly fall in place. He also told me that spitting up about 10% of what is ingested on an average is not an issue of concern at all. Sreya used to throw up through her nose and mouth at times while feeding and as a new mom throwing up through nose was the most terrible thing to witness, not knowing what to do, what would happen and seeing helplessly as the baby is near-choking, in tears, and crying. But if you are alone at that time, crying with the baby wont work and we need to be more practical, so just get a grip on yourself and burp the kid definitely each and every time after a feed, even if it is taking a lot of time, trying various methods, get the kid burped. It would help if we burp the kid in between the feed and burp after completing as well if the baby is good at feeding.

Throwing up a little, might also mean that the baby is being overfed and during the burping the baby is bringing up the excess feed, so not an issue of concern.

If the baby is bottle-fed, make sure the bottle is sterilized and the bottle as well as the nipple are clean and sterile, ensure the feeds are prepared hygienically, warm water, clean hands, clean scoop, clean bottle and nipple along with a clean burp cloth. If possible, do not reuse the same burp cloth for the next feed.

Also, keep the baby' s head elevated all the time while sleeping.. this is very essential and my doc always insisted on elevation all the time to keep away from reflux and touchwood, it might have worked 'cos luckily as an infant Sreya never had serious reflux issues.

In spite of all this, if the kid is throwing up violently, mind you not spitting up but throwing up, like a projectile vomit, say up to about a foot or more, then it is of concern and can be called reflux and let the doctor know and get the kid on medication if need be.

If the kid is bottle-fed, maybe changing the formula would work if we notice excessive throwing up than normal, but do this after consulting the physician.

If breast-fed, then the mother avoiding the dairy products during feeding period might be of great help, check it out before trying anything else.

So, in short the symptoms can be varying from moderate to severe degree of
  • spitting up
  • throwing up violently in a projectile manner up to about a distance of about a feet or more.
  • coughing up during feeds
  • poor feeding habits
  • blood in the stools
  • mucousy vomit
  • irritability and fussiness throughout the feeding and even after wards...
If the above symptoms are noticed after every feed, then it is a concern, rest is all normal.. so please do not worry first-time moms and spare yourself the tension..

Happy feeding!!!

A tip by Padma
try tummy time for 5 mins after each feeding apart from burping, it helps. But be sure you are there to monitor when the baby is on tummy. 5 weeks ee kada chala chinnadi.. so oka vela moham meda padina... roll over to her back

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