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Thread: Spit Up vs. Vomiting Issues

  1. #1

    Default Spit Up vs. Vomiting Issues

    My second child is 2.5 weeks old. We are breastfeeding. In the past few weeks, she has completely "spit up" entire meals. I try to keep her upright after feedings, for fear she will choke on it. Today, she projectile "spit up," but it seemed more like projectile vomiting. I fed her again about 1.5 hrs later, and that all came up too. I fed her for a third time about an hour after that, I kept her on her side, and she is side sleeping now, and did not throw up anything.

    I have zero experience with spitup, as my first child never spit up at all. Anyone have advice, routes I should go? It does not happen all the time, but it is very concerning when it happens. I hope to be able to continue breastfeeding. I also have had her sleeping in her boppy, swaddled at nighttime to avoid choking problems.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,117

    Default Re: Spit Up vs. Vomiting Issues

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    Some facts about spit-up:
    - Spit up is a normal part of infancy for many babies.
    - Spit-up amounts often look more dramatic than they are. You can visualize this by measuring out an ounce or two of cow's milk and then pouring it on the counter- you won't believe how far it spreads!
    - Spit-up happens because the muscle sphincters which keep tummy contents down where they belong are, like all of baby's other muscles, relatively weak. It's not happening because you're eating the wrong things or not keeping the baby upright enough or feeding the baby too often- all things which are often mistakenly blamed for spitting.
    - Spit-up in a baby who is gaining normally and not showing evidence of severe distress while spitting up can be considered a laundry problem rather than a health problem.
    - It's not unusual to have one baby who hardly spits up at all and another one that spits up all the time.
    - Because spit-up is liquid, not solid, it's not really a choking hazard. It can't actually plug the airway.

    So, as long as baby is happy and healthy and gaining weight normally, I really wouldn't worry. Just lay in lots of bibs and remember to swab out her neck folds- the spit-up can get in there and fester and cause irritation. It may also help to give baby frequent burp breaks when she's nursing.

    I would also stop swaddling her- swaddling is a great technique for extending an infant's sleep. But at 2.5 weeks, you don't want her sleeping for more than 3-4 hours at a time. If she's not swaddled, she may feed a bit more frequently. More frequent feedings are often great for spitters, because the shorter intervals bectween feeds often mean that baby is less hungry, and consequently stops eating before her tummy is all the way full. A not-quite-full tummy is less vulnerable to having its contents travel back up the esophagus.

    I would also absolutely stop having baby sleep on her side or in the Boppy, particularly when swaddled. Babies should sleep on their backs, they they shouldn't be near any sort of pillow. It's too easy for them to roll just a little, or slide down, and then smother against the side of the pillow (God forbid!!!). If you want your baby to sleep with her head elevated, put a pillow under one end of her crib mattress.

    Now, if your baby isn't gaining weight at a normal pace, or seems to be in severe distress, or the projectile vomiting is literally projectile (I mean literally flying across the room and hitting the wall) and is increasing in frequency, it's time to see the pediatrician.

    Does that all make sense?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Spit Up vs. Vomiting Issues

    Most babies spit up, breastfed or formula fed. Spit up is NOT a medically sound reason to even consider not breastfeeding.

    Spity up babies can also sleep quite comfortably with head above tummy snuggled on mom's (or dad's or grandma's) chest. Unswaddled.
    Spit up is almost always NORMAL no matter how big it looks.
    Frequent nursing may help and cannot hurt. Normal frequency for this age typically means, as much as baby wants as long as it is at least 10 times a 24 hour day.
    As long as baby is gaining well/you have no milk supply issues, no need to "switch feed." Let baby take one or both breasts per nursing session as baby prefers.
    Projectile vomiting of literally everything a child eats is a sign of a disorder (pyloric something or other?) that requires surgery and is evident from birth.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; October 30th, 2013 at 02:09 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Spit Up vs. Vomiting Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    Projectile vomiting of literally everything a child eats is a sign of a disorder (pyloric something or other?) that requires surgery and is evident from birth.
    Pyloric stenosis. It's significantly more common in male infants than female. Generally becomes evident within several weeks of birth- IIRC the classic age of onset is actually 3-5 weeks, not birth. Baby will become lethargic and dehydrated, with a sunken fontanel (soft spot), will produce scanty stool, and will fail to thrive. It's not something you'd suspect unless the baby's spit-up is literally flying across the room every time she eats.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Spit Up vs. Vomiting Issues

    Thanks! One of my co-Leaders had a baby who had it, (her 4th or 5th kid) and she figured it out while they were still in the hopital after baby was born, which is why I always thought it was evident right away. She descibed it as shooting out and hitting the wall.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Default Re: Spit Up vs. Vomiting Issues

    Dr Newman says spitting up breastmilk actually is giving the baby those antibacterial qualities in the BM into their throats etc again so it's going down and good going up. It still upsets me, though to see it.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

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