If your baby throws up every time after you feed her, it may be one of the signs of reflux in babies. Don’t panic. Reflux is commonly experienced by babies under one year. You just have to know what causes it and how to handle it properly.
Your baby spitting up milk from her mouth is normal. It is known as gastroesophageal reflux (GER), which is rarely serious.
Reflux is a condition when the food that your baby eats go back up to her esophagus. It happens because the muscular ring that connects the esophagus with the stomach is not working optimally.
When food gets in your baby stomach, this muscular ring usually closes itself to prevent the food from going up before the food is processed in the small intestine.
If this muscle opens in the wrong time, the content of her stomach along with the acid return to the esophagus.
When the acid goes up to your baby food pipe, it will leave her stomach in pain. The reflux can also cause a burning feeling in her chest and esophagus.
Another factor that causes reflux is because your baby stomach is still in a tiny size so that when you feed her, her stomach will be easily full.
This condition usually won’t last for long and can resolve itself. When your baby is around four months, the muscle usually will function normally. Therefore, the vomiting will stop gradually.
Although it’s a common and not serious condition, reflux can develop into a more serious disease known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This disease comes with more bothersome symptoms such as slow weight gain, crying, irritation, and sleep disturbances
Reflux in babies symptoms and treatment
Besides vomiting, there are other causes that you have to pay attention to.
- Stomach and chest pain
- Crying after feeding
- Frequent coughing
- Respiratory problems such as wheezing and difficulty in breathing (if not treated properly, it can cause pneumonia)
- Not gaining weight due to lack of nutrition intake
It is important to take your baby to a doctor when you see GERD symptoms. Your doctor will ask you about your baby condition and look at her medical history. After that, your baby physical condition will be checked.
It is possible for a doctor to run some tests on your baby to check if she is really suffering from GERD such as checking the digestive tract with an endoscope, X-raying the stomach, or doing a barium swallow test.
Commonly, your doctor will give your baby medication to reduce the amount of gas in her stomach. He will also give medicine to reduce the acid inside her stomach. However, some research shows that the chance to treat reflux with medication to reduce the acid is not high. Moreover, giving your baby medicine is a serious matter. Consult with your doctor until you are clear what medicine he gives for your baby because there may be a side effect of taking medicine.
In some rare cases, surgery is necessary to treat GERD. It is an effective solution but rarely done because the risk is too high.
It is important to take a precaution. Before your baby is suffering from reflux, you can do the tips below to prevent it from happening.
Put your baby in a straight position
After you feed your baby, don’t let her go to sleep immediately. Put her straight up for at least 30 minutes. This will help her stomach to digest the food and prevent the food from going up.
Perhaps it is difficult to know when to stop. If your baby keeps spitting up the milk, it means that you have to take a break for a moment. This is a sign that your baby has consumed too much milk. So, let her digest it first and wait for her to be hungry again.
Avoid moving too much
It is true that playing with your baby is so much fun. But don’t do it too often after you feed your baby. Moving too much can cause the food inside her stomach to go back up.