Is spitting up after every feeding normal?

Is spitting up after every feeding normal?

Almost all babies are spitting up after feeding. But as common as it is, it often makes new families nervous. The baby is usually soaked through, and immediately after getting it all out, they ask to breastfeed again. How can this be?

This is where the worries start… Should I breastfeed again immediately after? Is it normal that they spit up so much milk? Does what comes out look normal? And is it normal that my baby spits up that many times and in such a large quantity?

Why do they spit up?

When an adult vomits, they usually have a really hard time, and after vomiting, the whole body may ache, and there is usually little desire to eat anything at all. But when babies spit up, they do so with little effort; a mouthful of milk comes out, and that’s it. Spitting up is usually caused by taking in a little too much milk (if they have difficulties with sucking and, for example, drinking too much lactose-rich milk) or by an immature stomach valve. Then they usually ask for breast milk again, and you can offer your breast again without a problem because it will not do them any harm.

The appearance of what has been spit up is also often a cause for concern, as it can look so different to milk: lumps of milk or curdled milk, whitish water, milk with mucus. All of these aspects are usually normal and should not cause too much concern. However, if blood appears in the spit-up and you don’t have sore nipples or nipple damage, it is best to seek your pediatrician’s advice. If the spit-up does not affect your baby’s weight or well-being, you should not be too concerned; most babies spit up until they are around 7 or 8 months old. So be patient, bring changes of clothes just in case, and put a towel over your shoulder, which usually saves clothes from the worst.

What if my baby is having a stomach bug?

If your baby is suffering from a stomach bug (or gastroenteritis) and has frequent, projectile vomiting, it is best to consult your pediatrician. In case of stomach flu, it is not recommended to stop breastfeeding, but ideally, you should breastfeed in short and frequent sessions of a few minutes so your baby can stay hydrated. However, avoid that your baby breastfeeds too much and too long, as this may cause even more vomiting. More on breastfeeding and stomach bug in this article.

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