Most people say spitting up is normal, but... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 05-13-2013, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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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!

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#2 of 10 Old 05-13-2013, 01:48 PM
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This sounds like what my son did from day one. I only breastfeed. He also gained weight but after much research and a great doctor we found he had severe reflux.  He's esophageal sphincter was not fully developed and some babies it takes it a few months to mature. I was stressed needless to say. I had to make a hard decision to put my organic baby on meds or have him deal with the pain. I chose meds(reflux medication). It was very stressful..did I say that already. Anyway the good news is as soon as we started solids at 6 months (and still breastfeeding) he was instantly better. I had read that solids promote the maturing of this condition so I was anxious to start solids. Now, he is 2 and he is still all better. I am not saying this is what is going on for you but you may want to do a little research on reflux.*hugs*

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#3 of 10 Old 05-17-2013, 06:22 AM
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Hi there - ditto the hugs :) My son had mild colic, but when on to develop severe eczema, life threatening food allergies, and asthma. We found that food he was allergic to and sensitive too (which didn't show up in tests) really triggered his eczema. We followed an elimination diet and it really helped us clearly see what was the cause. I wrote a post about how to do it  and why. I would suggest doing an elimination diet yourself since you're nursing and see how removing certain foods and then adding them back in affects your child.


Good luck!


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#4 of 10 Old 05-17-2013, 09:40 AM
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Being premature is most likely the cause of any reflux but it all sounds pretty normal too me.
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#5 of 10 Old 05-31-2013, 08:35 PM
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Having had two reflux babies, it sounds exactly like that to me.  Spitting up is normal, but having it be excessive, combined with power puking or pain is not.  The pediatricians will ALWAYS say, if they're gaining weight, they're fine.  I have lost count how many times I've heard that, but GERD babies don't have to be puking so much that they can't gain weight to be uncomfortable.  The classic signs of GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease) include: fussiness at the breast, wanting to nurse constantly (to soothe a sore throat), preferring more frequent and smaller meals (because it decreases likelihood of heart burn) does better elevated 30 minutes after a meal, cries in pain during or right after a meal, general fussiness.


In my son's case, he had such severe reflux that his breathe always smelt like acid, he had blood in his spit up and stool, and literally cried 24/7 for 6 months.  He was on the extreme end, and is still on 30/mg of prevacid a day, which is an adult dose.  It doesn't sound like your daughter is that bad at all, but might still benefit from some home remedies and then if it doesn't get better, trying out some meds if you think it's causing her enough discomfort.


Getting her elevated after meals is HUGE, and allows everything to settle and lets the stomach begin to empty, when a GERD baby is laid down flat, because the muscle at the bottom of their esophagus isn't fully formed, the milk comes right back up easily and can mix with stomach acid and cause burning.  Also, allowing her to nurse more frequently and smaller meals, if you have a fast let down pump a little off first so she doesn't get flooded, choked and take in air.  Does she get a lot of hiccups?  Gripe water can be found at any health food store is very helpful for that -all natural.


And yes, your diet is huge, but I will tell you that doing an elimination diet, a REAL elimination diet is SO HARD!!!  The only way I could do it was cut out everything at once.  It can take up to 2 weeks to get out of your milk, and another  two weeks to get through the babies system, clear up symptoms, and be able to see a change. So if you're only doing one thing at a time, by the time you find the right thing, it might take 6 months.  If you cut everything out at once, eat chicken, veggies and fruit for at least three weeks, then add one food back at a time and see the response.


great resources:


Good luck, keep us posted!

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#6 of 10 Old 05-31-2013, 09:07 PM
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My baby would puke after nursing and puked so much I couldn't co sleep with him. I cut out dairy for over a week and didn't see any change in him so gave up. I then just dealt with the puking. After about 6 months he was better. Then at 11 months when I started him on solids he started getting bleeding diaper rashes. It took a few months and I had to keep a food diary for him, but I found out it was dairy. Looking back I should have stuck to being dairy free for at least a month when he was exclusively nursing.

I hope you find what is causing it.

SAHM  to 6run.gif

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#7 of 10 Old 06-03-2013, 04:36 PM
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before you go down the treatment for GERD i highly recommend seeing a cranial osteopath for work on the neck shoulder area. My dd had severe gerd until 9 months old - went to an osteo and shewas fixed that day. 


if that doesn't work I found gassy drinks, and chocolate made it worse.

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#8 of 10 Old 06-03-2013, 04:52 PM
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#9 of 10 Old 06-13-2013, 04:33 AM
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If it were me, I'd cut out the ghee for a week to see if it's that. If it's a milk intolerance, the ghee has other things than protein in it.

Kathy, mother of 3, wife of 1. My new recipe blog: (no longer searchable by allergen, but at least it doesn't have a virus!)
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#10 of 10 Old 06-13-2013, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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thank you for all of these helpful replies. I have been off dairy for 2-3 weeks now, including ghee, and there is a difference. ( well made ghee is nutritionally vegan and free of dairy protein, which is what causes most dairy problems for babies, but our current stash of ghee was made by a friend and I'm not sure if it is made with the same thoroughness as I would employ!). I also stopped soy and wheat, and baby is on probiotics. She still spits up every day, but not nearly as much as she was doing - minus a couple of days in the past 10 when she spat up a lot again. Those couple of days came during / after I had soy latte and edamame 2-3 days in a then I resolved to eliminate soy. Although there is less spit-up, she has had afternoon/evening crankiness/crying/colic/discomfort the past week...although not tonight!

Today I got a hazelwood necklace for her, and a friend did a short craniosacral session with her a few days ago. So, I am hitting this thing hard. If I forget to update again in a couple more weeks, feel free to ask me!
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