Breastfeeding And Spitting Up: Resolving the Issue


All babies at some point during a feed will have a spit-up. This often occurs when young babies spit up sometimes, since their digestive systems are immature, making it easier for the stomach contents to flow back up into the esophagus (the tube connecting mouth to stomach).

Babies often spit up when they get too much milk too fast. This may happen when baby feeds very quickly or aggressively, or when mom’s breasts are overfull. The amount of spitup typically appears to be much more than it really is. If baby is very distractible (pulling off the breast to look around) or fussy at the breast, he may swallow air and spit up more often. Here are some reason your baby may spit up:

  • when they are crawling
  • when they are teething
  • or when they are starting solid foods

According to research babies:

  • Spitting up usually occurs right after baby eats, but it may also occur 1-2 hours after a feeding.
  • Half of all 0-3 month old babies spit up at least once per day.
  • Spitting up usually peaks at 2-4 months.
  • Many babies outgrow spitting up by 7-8 months.
  • Most babies have stopped spitting up by 12 months.

If your baby is a ‘Happy Spitter’ –gaining weight well, spitting up without discomfort and content most of the time — spitting up is not a serious issue. This term is used by doctors to describe a baby who spits up, but is generally comfortable, has no breathing problems, and is thriving and growing well.

What are some of the reasons for babies spitting up?

  • Breastmilk oversupply or forceful let-down (milk ejection reflex) can cause reflux-like symptoms, and usually can be remedied with simple measures.
  • Food sensitivities can cause excessive spitting. The most likely offender is cow’s milk products (in baby’s or mom’s diet). Other things to ask yourself: is baby getting anything other than breastmilk – formula, solids (including cereal), vitamins (fluoride, iron, etc.), medications, herbal preparations? Is mom taking any medications, herbs, vitamins, iron, etc.?
  • Swallowing air during feedings: A baby who is drinking very quickly is also gulping air along with the milk. This is especially true if you have a strong let-down reflex or an overabundant milk supply.
  • Babies with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) usually spit up a lot (see below).
  • Although seldom seen in breastfed babies, regular projectile vomiting in a newborn can be a sign of pyloric stenosis, a stomach problem requiring surgery. It occurs 4 times more often in boys than in girls, and symptoms usually appear between 3 and 5 weeks of age. Newborns who projectile vomit at least once a day should be checked out by their doctor.

Reflux can cause considerable discomfort in some babies.

Symptoms of GERD include:1

  • Gagging, choking, coughing, wheezing, or other breathing problems
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Poor growth due to vomiting (rarer)

Discuss your baby’s spit-up patterns with your pediatrician to figure out if GERD could be the culprit. If so, medication and other measures may be necessary.2

Best Tips s to Reduce Spit-Ups

Burping is important to prevent spitting up

Always burp baby during and after feeds

Try to burp your baby during and after each feeding to remove air from her belly. Some breastfed babies do not need to burp after every feeding, as they tend to swallow less air than bottle-fed babies. However, if you have an abundant milk supply or a very fast flow of milk, that may not be the case. Sometimes babies spit up because they are burped. Still, this is a worthwhile measure. Mamas believe me when you burp your baby , you are doing wonders for your baby. When your baby is burped, you are helping release the air swallowed during the feeding. After a burp, your baby will be more comfortable. Removing air may also make more room in your baby’s stomach to continue the feeding.

Relieve Engorgement Before Feeding

Hand expression before breastfeeding can be a solution to your engorgement issue

If you have too much milk or your milk supply has not yet adjusted to your baby’s needs, your breasts might be engorged. This can make your breasts full and hard, making it difficult for your baby to latch properly and get a good seal around your nipple. As a result, your baby will take in air as he tries to nurse.

Use a pump or express some milk before feeding your baby to soften the breast. This will help your baby to latch on properly.

What if my little star does not burp?

If your baby does not burp right away here are some things you can do to help,but keep in mind that not all babies will have air in their tummies after a feed:

  • Burp in between feeds. (mid- feed)
  • Try a different position with baby to burp
  • Use infant message. Little babies will find a nice rubdown super-relaxing. “You will get a lot of different answers on what techniques are best, but the most common are gently pressing down on the babies abdomen and massaging in a clockwise motion, laying the baby flat on their back and holding their knees together then flexing them up toward their tummies, or bicycling the legs,” explains Dr. Oller.
  • Gently pat on the left side where the stomach is.
  • Sit baby up tall/ straight. Here’s a little modification to the classic burping pose that just might help your little one. “Holding the baby upright on your shoulder or in a sitting position (so that their spine is straight) and firmly massaging upwards along their backs — from belly to neck — is also a great way to encourage a burp to come out,” explains Sauers. Experiment with this upright pose and see if it works for your baby, too.
  • Observe for feeding cues to avoid swallowing air.

Experiment With Different Positions

Try different breastfeeding positions to see if some are more comfortable than others for your baby. And after a feeding, try to keep your baby’s head upright and elevated for at least 30 minutes.

Keep Feedings Calm and Quiet

Try to limit distractions, noise, and bright lights while you are breastfeeding. Calmer feedings may lead to fewer spit-ups. Don’t bounce or engage in very active play immediately following a feeding either.

Feed Your Baby More Often

If you wait too long between feedings and your baby is very hungry, she may feed too quickly and take in excess air. Stick with the same recommended quantity of milk over the course of a day, just consider adjusting your feeding schedule. If breastfeeding give when ever baby is ready. If bottle feeding give breast milk if it not 3 hours as yet for formula.

Manage a Strong Let-Down

If you have a forceful let-down reflex, your milk may be flowing too fast for your baby. Try to nurse in a reclined position so that your baby is taking in the milk against gravity. You can also pump or express some milk from your breasts before beginning a feeding to help slow down the flow.

When should I seek medical attention?

When your baby spits up, milk usually comes up with a burp or flows gently out of his mouth. Even if your baby spits up after every feeding, it is not usually a problem.

Vomiting is not the same. Vomiting is forceful and often shoots out of your baby’s mouth. A baby may vomit on occasion, and that’s OK. But if your child is vomiting repeatedly or for longer than 24 hours, and/or if the vomit is green or has blood in it, contact your pediatrician. It could be a sign of illness, infection, or something more serious.1

Other signs that it is time to call your baby’s doctor includes concerns that your baby:2

  • Appears to be in pain and is inconsolable
  • Loses weight or is not gaining weight
  • Not keeping any feedings down and is showing signs of dehydration
  • Spits up too much or too often

Bottom line

Mamas and dads out there you see it is not always necessary to become overly alarmed at your baby spitting up. This condition is not always serious. However, it is important for you to be aware of signs and symptoms of real problems. Please note the signs of danger and know when to seek help for your little star. Also understanding why it can occurs . Burping after feeds helps out quit a bit. Try to avoid allowing your baby to cry for prolonged periods. This is where your baby can swallow lots of air which can get trapped in the stomach or intestines. Keep in mind that your baby will not always burp, after a feed. If you have tried all the above methods and nothing works, gently rest baby on back with head turned to one side if asleep. Thank you for stopping by today

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Breastfeeding And Baby Weight Loss After Birth: What Is Normal?


Breastfed newborns can lose up to 10% of their body weight during the first week of life.1 After that, babies gain approximately 1 ounce each day. By the time they are two weeks old, newborns should be back to their birth weight or even weigh a little more.

It happens that you go to your healthcare provider and your baby is weighed a week after delivery. Your healthcare provider is concerned that your baby is losing weight as opposed to gaining weight. You are breastfeeding, I mean exclusively breastfeeding and your healthcare provider says to give the baby some formula.

Just so you know, Breast Fed Is Best Academy may earn commissions from shopping links.

You start to give tour baby formula but you also see where you are losing the battle for breastfeeding. Your little star does not seem interested in breastfeeding anymore and you are disappointed because you had planned to exclusively breastfeed. What is a new mom suppose to do? A newborn usually loses several grams of body mass a day in the first 3-5 days after birth before moving into an upward gain trend, experts say.

Breastfed newborns can lose up to 10% of their body weight during the first week of life.1 After that, babies gain approximately 1 ounce each day. By the time they are two weeks old, newborns should be back to their birth weight or even weigh a little more.

Your newborn is not getting enough breast milk and is losing too much weight if they:

  • Lose more than 10% of his birth weight
  • Continue to lose weight after the first week of life
  • Are still under their birth weight after two weeks. (Paid link)

Reasons Why Some Babies Lose Weight While Breastfeeding

There can be several reasons for you baby’s weight loss

Newborns who are breastfeeding can lose weight for a variety of reasons.

  • Not breastfeeding enough: It is important to put your baby to the breast at least every two to three hours to stimulate healthy milk supply and provide your baby with enough breast milk to gain weight.2
  • Incorrect breastfeeding latch: When your baby isn’t latching on correctly, they cannot efficiently remove enough milk to grow at a consistent, healthy rate.2
  • An issue with your baby’s ability to latch: If you have severely engorged breastslarge nipplesflat nipples, or inverted nipples, your child may have difficulty latching on. Babies can also have physical or neurological issues that interfere with their ability to latch on to the breast properly. Your baby will not be able to get enough milk without a good latch.
  • Incorrect use of a nipple shield:nipple shield can be a helpful breastfeeding tool when used correctly and under the supervision of a doctor or lactation consultant. However, nipple shields that are used incorrectly can prevent a baby from getting enough breast milk.
  • They can also cause a decrease in your milk supply.3
  • Sleepiness: Sleepy newborns need to be aroused for feedings every two to three hours. Breastfeeding a sleepy baby can be a challenge, but it’s very important to make sure that your baby is nursing often and getting enough breast milk to gain weight.
  • Late onset of milk production: A difficult birth, stress, or a retained placenta are some of the causes of a delay in milk production. Until your breasts fill up with milk, your baby will not gain weight.
  • True low milk supply: Certain physical or hormonal issues such as hypoplastic breasts, PCOS, hypothyroidism, or previous breast surgery, can cause low milk supply. If your milk does not come in by the fourth day postpartum, talk to your doctor and have an examination. In some cases, a true low milk supply can be corrected with treatment.4

What to Do If Your Baby Is Losing Weight?

There are many good choices to make

If your baby is losing weight or not gaining weight as expected, you shouldn’t wait to ask for help. Your health and the baby’s health should be assessed, and you may need a lactation consultant. If a newborn is not back to birth weight by about 2 weeks of age talk to your primary care provider as this may indicate a possible concern. (Paid link)

Getting breastfeeding off to a good start can make all the difference in how successful you will be.5 Plus, correcting any issues right away helps to ensure your baby will get enough nutrition and fluids to stay hydrated and begin to gain weight. So if your breastfed baby is losing weight:

  • Have your baby’s latch evaluated by your nurse, a doctor, a lactation consultant, or a local breastfeeding support group.
  • See your doctor. Find out if there is a physical or hormonal issue that might be interfering with your breast milk supply.
  • Take your baby to the doctor to check for an illness or any other problems that could be interfering with breastfeeding. Infections, tongue-tie, jaundice, and other newborn issues can cause poor nursing and weight loss in infants.
  • Monitor your baby’s weight. Weigh them regularly at home.
  • Monitor your baby’s diapers. Keep track of how many wet diapers and bowel movements your baby is having each day.
  • Breastfeed your baby very often, at least every two to three hours around the clock. If you have a sleepy baby, wake them up to breastfeed every three hours.
  • Breastfeed longer at each nursing session.
  • Increase your breast milk supply by pumping. You can also ask your doctor or a lactation consultant about the use of galactagogues. Certain herbs, foods, and nursing teas may be helpful to increase a low milk supply.

If your baby continues to lose weight, it may be necessary to supplement. Talk to your doctor about continuing to breastfeed along with supplementation. A nursing supplementer device can be used to be sure your baby is getting enough breast milk or formula while still nursing at your breast.

Is there a specific timeline parents should track when it comes to their baby’s healthy weight?

Generally, full-term newborn babies lose weight for about the first 3-5 days after being born before starting to gain. Typical newborn weight gain is about 30-35 grams per day. The baby’s primary care provider will be following the baby’s weight and looking for him or her to be back to birth weight by about 2 weeks of age.

In Some Cases Supplementation May Be Needed

Mama it is ok if supplement is the last resort

While some weight loss in the initial week of a child’s life can be normal, it’s very important that people start to discuss the fact that sometimes it is necessary to supplement a newborn’s feed with formula. There are so many reasons why a woman might have low or late milk supply, but the baby still needs to eat, even if the mother intends to breastfeed.

Unfortunately, the ‘breast is best’ dialogue doesn’t leave much room for these complicated scenarios. If a baby has lost more than 10% of their birth weight, it is dangerous to continue to attempt to breastfeed as their only source of nutrition. While many breastfeeding enthusiasts insist that a baby will bounce back once the milk comes in, the situation can quickly get out of hand if you have a severely dehydrated or undernourished baby.

If you are bringing your first child home with intentions of breastfeeding, you should still have a box of formula on hand in the event that your baby needs it. This isn’t to discourage you from your breastfeeding intentions, but it does bring peace of mind to know that if your baby needs a little boost, it’s available.

In some hospitals, nurses offer formula ‘supplements’ to newborns if a parent requests them. Though many other birthing centers still advocate for exclusive breastfeeding, the choice should be made by the parent (including the choice to not breastfeed at all!)

The shame and lack of support surrounding non-breastfeeding (or mixed feeding) exacerbate the risks for newborn dehydration and malnourishment since a mother is less likely to visit a doctor if she feels personally responsible for her child’s inability to feed.

Bottom Line

When a baby is born, parents are also born. With this new role comes new skills and capabilities, and one of them is a parental instinct. If you feel uncomfortable or worried about your baby’s weight, follow through and make a phone call to your pediatrician or midwife.

It’s better to be over vigilant in the first few weeks of your baby’s life than under vigilant. If you are super stressed as you try to breastfeed and your baby is clearly not getting fed, open the dialogue about formula. Having an inconsolable, hungry baby on your hands can be a very big stress for a new mom, and can lead to feelings of discouragement and despair.

Feed your baby, whatever that means for you! Forget the judgments of others. At the end of the day, navigating the early weeks of parenthood can be really tough. Stay calm and alert. Do not mind the judgements of others. Do what is best for you and your family. That is what matters.

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