What Happens When a Newborn Baby Spits Up Milk?
Newborn babies have both physiological and pathological reasons for severe vomiting. It may also be caused by cold and constipation, incorrect feeding posture, too fast feeding, premature addition of complementary foods, etc. are also causes of severe vomiting in newborns.
1. Physiological Reasons
The baby’s stomach does not hang down like older children and adults but is horizontal. This makes the capacity of the stomach smaller and stores less food. Also, because the tension of the baby’s esophageal muscles is low, the cardia is loose and does not close tightly, so it is easy for food to break through the door, resulting in spitting up.
These physiological vomiting, when the baby grows up a little more, the stomach drops down, the neural regulation of intestinal peristalsis and the function of endocrine gastric acid and proteolytic enzymes are gradually enhanced, so that the baby will not vomit.
2. Pathological Reasons
Colds, bacterial infections, constipation, pyloric stenosis, esophageal atresia, intestinal atresia, poor intestinal rotation, congenital megacolon, etc. can cause abnormal vomiting of milk in babies.
3. Improper Feeding and Care
Improper feeding posture, too fast feeding, too much milk or too short interval between meals; too much flipping of the baby when feeding; too early addition of complementary foods; bottle feeding, the hole in the teat is too large, causing milk to flow out too fast, too late to swallow, etc. This improper feeding can lead to baby vomiting.
When the baby is 6 months old, not only can he master the sucking skills well, but also the gastrointestinal function is more mature, so the number of spitting up is significantly reduced. When newborns spit up frequently, mothers must distinguish whether it is due to physiological reasons, pathological reasons, or their improper feeding, so that they can decide how to solve their baby’s spitting up troubles. Parents don’t need to worry about normal spitting up, only if the baby is gaining weight normally and is in good spirits.
What to Do If Your Newborn Baby Spits Up Milk?
Spitting up is not a rare occurrence. Half of all babies experience spitting up, and it occurs mainly within the first year of life. Many new moms face their babies spitting up for the first time and are often overwhelmed and don’t know how to handle it. If the mother can pay more attention to some details when feeding, I believe the baby will be able to relieve a lot of vomiting situation.
1. Vomiting is a physiological phenomenon, the baby is not painful and not uncomfortable
The newborn baby’s stomach is still immature, just like a small bucket without a lid, if it is filled with milk and tilted, such as lying on the bed after drinking milk, then the milk will pour out, which will appear what we call vomiting.
2. Physiological spitting up vs. vomiting
Physiological vomiting is characterized by:
- A small amount of milk is often spat out when burping;
- When overfeeding, a large amount of milk is spat out;
- Most of them occur during feeding or within a short time after feeding.
And vomiting belongs to is a protective reflex, mainly caused by diseases such as indigestion, gastroenteritis, bacterial dysentery, infectious diseases (such as upper respiratory tract infection, tonsillitis, pneumonia, etc.), surgical diseases (such as intussusception, intestinal obstruction, etc.), or central nervous system infections (such as meningitis, encephalitis, brain hemorrhage, etc.).
All in all, if the baby is happy and does not make a fuss, this is physiological vomiting, which is a normal phenomenon; if the baby vomits and is accompanied by other uncomfortable symptoms, you should seek medical attention.
3. One action to prevent vomiting – burping
By making your baby burp, you can reduce the probability of spitting up. There are three common burping methods –
The vertical hold burp method: hold the baby vertically on the mother’s chest, lean the baby’s head on the mother’s shoulder, hold the baby’s head and back with one hand, and gently pat the TA on the back with the other hand;
Sitting and burping: Hold the baby on the mother’s lap, support the baby’s chest and head with one hand, and pat the baby’s back with the other hand;
Lying on your lap: Sit your baby on your mother’s lap, hold your baby’s head so that it is slightly above your chest, then pat your baby’s back or gently draw a picture and touch him.
If after a few minutes, your baby is not burped, don’t worry, just keep feeding your baby, because your baby is not comfortable with burping every time. When the baby is full of milk, the mom will try to burp the TA and then hold it upright for 10-15 minutes to prevent spitting up.
4. Three feeding details to prevent vomiting
- Change your baby’s diaper before breastfeeding, not after breastfeeding;
- Hold your baby while feeding (let your baby’s body be at an angle of about 45 degrees) and keep quiet and calm while feeding;
- Don’t tease your baby immediately after breastfeeding, and be careful not to squeeze your baby’s belly.
I believe that after the mother has mastered the above skills, she can easily deal with her baby’s spitting up.
How To Care For a Newborn Baby Who Is Spitting Up?
Generally speaking, babies start to spit up when they are half a month old, usually the most serious when they are two months old, and slowly reduce the number of times they spit up after they are three months old, and they rarely do so after they are half a year old. Some newborns vomit because they drink too much milk and the baby spits out the extra portion, and some bring out the milk when they drink the air into their stomachs.
1. Keep your upper body in an elevated position
Once vomit enters the airway it can lead to choking. Therefore, it is best to put a towel under the child’s body and keep the upper body elevated when the child is lying down. If vomiting occurs while the child is lying down, we can turn the child’s face to the side.
2. Pay more attention to the child’s condition after spitting up
Put the child’s head up while lying down or simply hold the child upright. Your child may look bad after spitting up, but as long as he or she recovers later, there is no problem. Also, depending on the situation, you can give the child some water.
3. Hydrate 30 minutes after vomiting
If you hydrate your child immediately after vomiting, it may cause vomiting again. Therefore, it is best to try to feed your child some plain water with a spoon a little bit after vomiting for about 30 minutes.
4. After vomiting, reduce the number of feedings to half of the usual amount
When the baby’s spirit recovers and he/she wants to eat milk again, we can feed the baby some more milk. However, each feeding should be reduced to about half of the usual amount, but the number of feedings can be increased. During the baby’s continuous vomiting, we can only feed the baby milk, but not other foods, including complementary foods.
5. Newborn vomiting comes out of the nose
Parents should take care of the baby who vomits and try to avoid the baby vomiting out of the nose. If the milk comes out of the nose, also pick up the baby in time and clean the baby’s nose so that the baby can breathe freely.
How to Do If Newborn Baby Spits Up Milk Badly?
In the case of newborn vomiting, mothers should pay attention to distinguish between physiological and pathological vomiting. Physiological vomiting is a normal condition, so mothers should pay attention to not overdoing the amount of milk each time when feeding, and lift the baby up and lightly beat the back after feeding; if the baby keeps vomiting for 24 hours after birth and the amount is more, it is mostly pathological vomiting and should be promptly treated by a doctor.
1. Physiological vomiting
- During pregnancy, mothers should pay attention to breast protection. Mothers with sunken nipples should gradually lift out the nipples so that the baby can suck the milk after birth. When bottle-feeding, be careful not to oversize the rubber nipple to prevent your baby from sucking milk too quickly or too much.
- The number of feedings should not be too many, and the amount of milk should not be too large for each feeding.
- Don’t let your baby cry too much before breastfeeding.
- Make the bottle full of milk when feeding so that the baby can prevent vomiting due to excessive air intake in the stomach.
- Don’t turn your baby too early after feeding. It is better to put your baby up and pat him/her on the back to make him/her burp a few times before putting him/her back to bed so that he/she will be less likely to spit up.
- For babies who are prone to vomiting, it is best to raise the head of the bed a little after feeding and sleep with the head in a lateral position to prevent suffocation or aspiration pneumonia when vomiting occurs.
The above is physiological vomiting in newborns, which does not require special treatment. Mom and dad only need to feed reasonably and strengthen care, and as the baby grows older and gradually improves its gastrointestinal function, it will slowly get better.
2. Pathological vomiting
If the baby starts to vomit milk 24 hours after birth, the amount of vomiting is high, even in the form of jets, or there are other abnormal symptoms and signs in addition to vomiting, this indicates that the baby is sick and caused by vomiting, which is pathological vomiting, parents should take the baby to the hospital as soon as possible.
The common causes of pathological vomiting are esophageal atresia, gastroesophageal reflux, hypertrophic pyloric stenosis, intestinal malrotation, and other congenital digestive tract abnormalities, which should be treated surgically after diagnosis.
Is It Normal For Newborns To Vomit?
Vomiting is a common phenomenon in newborns. To determine whether newborn vomiting is normal, first of all, we need to find out whether the baby is pathologically vomiting or physiologically overflowing, pathologically vomiting is an abnormal phenomenon and physiologically vomiting is normal. Pathological vomiting has a higher volume and can occur shortly after feeding, or half an hour later, and the child has an open mouth and stretched neck with a painful and uncomfortable expression before vomiting. Physiological spillage is less and occurs when the child has just finished feeding and usually spits out one or two mouthfuls.
When You Need to See a Doctor After Your Newborn Spits Up?
As long as the baby does not show any discomfort or weight loss, or if there is a lot of frequent vomiting, greenish color, crying and coughing, and other abnormalities, it is not necessary to see a doctor. However, the baby’s mental and physical state after vomiting is something that needs more attention. After the vomiting is relieved, if the baby is still depressed, only wants to sleep, is emotionally upset, cannot sleep, has a fever, or has a distended tummy, he or she may be sick and should see a doctor.