Vomiting Baby


Vomiting, Spitting up or GERD

Most babies spit up, and some vomiting in the first few weeks and even months is normal development in most cases.

Spitting up is not seen as a health problem unless the baby seems discontent and is not urinating or producing enough bowel movements.

Normal stool and urine output according to age.


Reasons why a Baby may be Vomiting / Spitting up

  • An overactive let-down reflex (milk is flowing too fast).
  • Baby has a strong gag reflex or immature muscle control.
  • The mother has an oversupply, and the baby is consuming too much milk.
  • Vitamin, Iron or Fluoride supplements can also cause vomiting. 
  • Formula supplementation can cause vomiting. 
  • Food allergies, either in baby’s diet or the mother’s diet via the breast milk. 
  • Any illness in the baby. 


GERD

In the case of GERD “gastroesophageal reflux disease" The baby will display other symptoms such as pain, feeding difficulty, sleeping difficulty. Read more about GERD if you suspect that your baby has this problem. 


Illness

Vomiting may accompany a cold or flu. The baby will usually show other signs such as fever, tiredness and nasal congestion. 

A rare reason for vomiting is galactosemia, in which the baby lacks the enzyme galactose to digest breast milk…read more about this here.

More helpful information about breastfeeding while the baby is ill. 


Projectile Vomiting

Projectile vomiting refers to when the vomitus is projected quite a distance away. Babies usually projectile vomit when they are sick. If a baby projectile vomits more than once per day and is also not gaining weight, you should see a doctor to rule out the possibility of pyloric stenosis. Pyloric stenosis is a condition where the connection between the stomach and intestines are narrowed. This condition is also rare. 


The Vomiting Baby
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The Impact on the Breastfeeding Relationship

  • The baby may start to breastfeed more often, which could temporarily increase a mother’s breast milk supply. 
  • The mother might start to wonder if something in her breast milk is causing the problem but this is very unlikely and supplementation will cause increased spitting up. 


Breastfeeding Tips

  • Try to keep your baby in a more upright position while feeding; this causes gravity to keep the baby’s stomach contents down and is especially helpful for babies with acid reflux. 
  • If the mother has oversupply, she can express some milk into a cloth until the flow slows down. 


How to Handle Spit-Up & Vomit | Infant Care


Tracy Ann Behr, CBC, CLD (CBI)

Reference: Course information through Childbirth International on breastfeeding physiology / Health problems / Vomiting baby.

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