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We have a baby that is a little over a week old and it seems like after some feedings she is spitting up what looks like her entire meal (breast feeding). I've been weighing her and she still seems to be gaining weight.

If she is still gaining weight, is this something I should be worried about or is this just something that babies do?

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I wonder if it's just a case of over feeding. Her little tummy isn't that big. Breast milk will always be produced at a rate higher then it's needed. So if you're feeding until there is nothing left, then next time your body will produce even more. Consider yourself lucky that she's feeding well. Measure NOT what comes out when she spits up, but what goes in the diaper. That is the best indicator of her milk intake. –  Mathew Foscarini May 2 '12 at 2:12
    
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5 Answers 5

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This is something babies do. What looks like her entire meal is more likely a lot of drool and mucus, some stomach acid, and just enough breast milk to tint it white. There are some situations where a large amount of milk/formula gets burped up, and this is usually one of two situations; an overfull stomach (some babies will eat to bursting; the reflexes involved may allow for nothing else) or air behind a large amount of milk/formula (usually happens when feeding a baby on their back or side).

Babies, especially brand new ones, don't have all their systems working perfectly in concert yet. Over the coming weeks you may notice she may not poop for a day or even two, though she's eating plenty, and then she'll have a massive blowout. That's her peristalsis movements trying to get in gear in fits and starts. The stomach is similar; she'll hold formula for a while without really processing it, then she'll get a burst of stomach acids that will cause heartburn, belching and spit-up. It will all calm down and get into rhythm within the first couple of months.

As long as your baby is gaining weight and appears satisfied after feedings, you're just fine. Just keep a receiving blanket or burp cloth handy to put over your shoulder.

Things you can do to reduce spit-up include:

  • More frequent burping; if you normally switch breasts in the middle of a feeding, burp her when switching.
  • Feeding in a more upright position; instead of the cross-body hold or the football, try reclining about 30-40 degrees and then laying her along your stomach, on hers.
  • Making sure she's got a good latch and is not sucking air as she feeds.
  • Watching what you eat; the baby eats what you eat, so compounds in your food that cause belching and gas for you will show up in your breast milk and cause belching and gas for your baby too.
  • If you were formula feeding I would have recommended trying a formula designed for sensitive stomachs and/or spit-up reduction. These contain proteins that are more broken down than traditional milk-based products, and rice starches to make the formula thicker and less likely to be regurgitated. They work; my wife wasn't able to breastfeed and so we've been bottle-feeding a mix of pumped breastmilk and formula, and have noticed when we use the "for fussines and gas" and "spit-up" formulations it really does help.
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They spit up a lot. shrug I just kept a spit cloth (for which read: fabric diaper) on my shoulder for a few months, and we did laundry all the time.

All four of our kids had some reflux that contributed to this. Our pediatrician said that many kids are born with a stomach valve that doesn't quiiiite close all the way, and as they grow after birth this just finishes developing. [note: I may be mis-remembering this or have just misunderstood it at the time. Anyway, the important idea is that "they often grow out of it."] But she didn't seem surprised by their spitting up a lot for the first few weeks as long as they were growing -- which you have been watching, so you're probably good.

Keith has some very good specific advice up there, too. We bottle fed (so I could help!) but the idea of good burping and sitting upright are still valid.

Is this your first? It's terrifying when you think about all the stuff you don't know. :7) Relax, no one else really knew it either. You'll do great!

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My experience: kids do spit up a lot, but sometimes they have acid reflux, which sometimes leads them to eat even more and still gain weight. You can check for it with a simple echography, and you can use some very innocuous drugs to keep it at bait. My second child had it and gained a lot of weight anyway. Worse than that, se had pneumonia due to acid irritating her lungs.

My advice is to do some more investigations.

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Acid reflux does occur in babies, and if too much of a problem, can be treated with medicine prescribed by your pediatrician. Don't self-treat though if this is the case. –  demongolem Aug 29 '13 at 11:06
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As they say, this is something babies do and you should try all the other advice.

BUT, here is something extra you can try that works for some people, assuming baby's Mom is breastfeeding: have Mom drink Acidophilus milk, or consume something else containing that culture. My wife and I were up many nights with one of our daughters where she'd wake up hungry, drink her fill, and throw up ten minutes later. Then there was nothing left to feed her for a while. Horrible. After a few months of this off and on, a friend found out about it and recommended my wife drink Acidophilus milk because it had worked for her. INSTANT fix for us. I never found out exactly why, because the doctor said that was crazy. But something must have been missing in babies guts, because it really worked for us.

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Babies spit when they are overfeed or it is also possible that your baby is burping which is normal in every feeding. My cousin is a nurse, and she told me that after feeding, I should put my newborn baby in a sideward position or backwards so he can burp. She said it helps a lot for the baby's digestion.

If the spitting continues, check with your pediatrician, so she can assess your baby's situation. And make sure to regularly check and monitor your baby's weight using a baby weight percentile calculator, so you can monitor your baby's progress.

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