My Baby Spits Up After Feeding: Should I Worry?

If a baby spits up after feedings in the first months of life, it's a normal occurrence. However, when this happens frequently, it can be cause for concern and parents should be very attentive.
My Baby Spits Up After Feeding: Should I Worry?

Last update: 13 December, 2018

It’s normal if your baby spits up on occasion after nursing. This type of reaction to breastmilk or formula is a recurrent issue, especially during the first 6 months of life. However, if reflux occurs continuously, this can be a sign of a problem with the digestive system .

That doesn’t necessarily mean we need to be alarmed – but it does mean we should be observant and attentive. In fact, almost all clinical cases that present this symptom tend to be sporadic and can be treated by a pediatrician.

As parents, it’s our number one job to seek out the cause behind the vomiting. This will determine the type of treatment or care that we should offer our child. Today, we’ll look at the various motives that produce this bodily reaction.

Sometimes the problem has to do with the way you feed your baby

At first, all newborns spit up because their digestive systems are still underdeveloped. Therefore, incorrect positioning or the wrong diet can lead to regurgitation. In this case, you’ll need to change the way in which you feed your baby.

Placing your baby in the wrong position during or after feedings can produce reflux. At the same time, the slightest entrance of air during feedings can also cause babies to spit up. As a means of prevention, it’s important to be diligent in burping babies to expel any gases.

At the same time, the amount of milk or formula your baby drinks and the consistency are also common culprits. It’s important to pay careful attention to certain aspects such as bottle size, the thickness of formula, and the amount your baby drinks.

It’s also important to remember not to exceed the amount recommended for your baby’s weight and size.

My Baby Spits Up After Feeding: Should I Worry?

Allergies and nasal congestion

Just as these factors affect the entry of air, they can also be cause for why your baby spits up after nursing. A child with a congested nose may regurgitate as a reflex that improves breathing. This occurs often in babies who suffer from sinusitis.

In the same way, allergies and milk intolerances can also cause newborns to throw up. Lactose or the protein found in the formula you offer may be to blame. If that is the case, then it’s best to change to a different formula.

All this being said, if babies constantly and repetitively spit up after eating, then they may be suffering from some condition. This is especially true if the reaction continues even when a baby reaches 10 to 14 months of age.

Placing your baby in the wrong position during or after feedings can produce reflux. At the same time, the slightest entrance of air during feedings can also cause babies to spit up.”

It’s important to rule out gastroesophageal reflux disorder

Gastroesophageal reflux disorder, or GERD, originates in an immature inferior esophageal sphincter. This is a muscle that allows the passage of food through the entire esophagus and to the stomach. If this muscle doesn’t function correctly, food comes back up.

In general, this condition comes accompanied by other symptoms. If your little one arches his or her back like a reflex after eating, then GERD may be to blame.

At the same time, if your baby is constantly colicky, coughing, or loses weight, these symptoms may also point to GERD.

Basically, the solution is to improve the way in which the baby in question is fed. There are also tests that help in diagnosis, and treatments that lower the level of acid in a baby’s esophagus.

My Baby Spits Up After Feeding: Should I Worry?

My baby spits up after eating: Pyloric stenosis

Another important aspect to consider is pyloric stenosis, which shouldn’t be confused with gastroesophageal reflux. In this case, the problem has to do with a widening of the esophagus. This leads children to spit up their milk.

The characteristic symptom of this pathology is that babies throw up intermittently, like a series of gunshots. And the vomit is very acidic. Only in the most severe cases will doctors recommend surgical intervention to correct this defect.

The good news is that, in regards to both of these issues, there is always a solution. It’s very difficult to associate recurrent spitting up to any serious medical condition. This is even more true with infants under the age of 6 months.

To summarize, if your baby spits up after feedings, the first thing you need to do is observe. It’s important to clarify that only a medical doctor can indicate the proper course of treatment. Lastly, modifying the way in which you feed your baby will help a great deal.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.