Most people say spitting up is normal, but I know it's not natural for my newborn. Here's what's happening:
- She is 6 weeks old and was born 6 weeks before her due date.
- She is and has only been exclusively breastfed since birth.
- She never spit up until she went off her gavage (nasal feeding tube), about 4 weeks ago, which was still my breastmilk. For a couple of weeks, she just spit up occasionally.
- For the past couple of weeks, she has had some days where she spits up a lot more. This leads me to think she is reacting to something in my breastmilk (something I've eaten), since her spit-ups aren't consistent. On one day she might spit up just a little bit, 2 or 3 times. The next day she might spit up larger amounts 4 or 5 times during a feeding.
- Twice, while sleeping on my chest, she has made a little gagging sound and then woken up with some screams that sound like pain. I think she has regurgitated a little into her esophagus, and it's probably acidic and hurts her.
- She isn't colicky -- i.e., doesn't cry for hours at a time. She might cry for a couple of minutes but always relaxes when she gets the nipple.
- At least a few times a day she strains while trying to pass gas, sometimes for 10-20 minutes, with little toots along the way.
- She can get very fussy while breastfeeding sometimes -- pulling away/moving her head around with nipple still in her mouth (ouch!). I don't know if this is related to the bellyache.
- Some days she breastfeeds for one to three (THREE!) hours at a time, thankfully with some little pauses here and there!
- She poos and pees plenty each daily. Poo is orangish-brown, sometimes a little seedy, not frothy.
- My diet has been super clean since birth (and well before). Up until yesterday, Day 42 after birth postpartum doula preparing fresh, postpartum-appropriate (Ayurvedic) meals for me every day and giving me a daily warm oil massage. Home life is quiet, including breastfeeding times, and baby is not overstimulated.
- I have cut out dairy for the last 10 days (minus ghee, a daily staple for me) and don't see a result from that yet. As of yesterday I decided to cut wheat, too, after I got a bellyache from eating semolina. Thinking maybe the baby has an allergy to casein (dairy protein, which is purified out of the ghee) and/or wheat...
- I eat one or two avocados each day. Could this be the cause of her reflux?
- My mother is visiting from USA this week (I live in Europe) and bringing some baby probiotics with her that are purer than the ones I can get here. I'm hoping this will help...
We've been told by her Western medical healthcare provider not to worry, so long as she's gaining weight. And she is. Still, I'm concerned for her. My intuition tells me she is uncomfortable and that while this may be considered normal for a baby in our culture, I really can't believe it's natural. I believe there is something to be done...I just don't know what.
Any suggestions/feedback for us? Thank you!