Regurgitation in newborns is quite common. What to do to prevent it and when should you worry? Here’s everything you need to know about regurgitation in infants, remedies and causes
Regurgitation in infants, remedies and causes
The regurgitation is one of those typical phenomena that frequently involve i newborns while breastfeeding.
What is meant by regurgitation? It is the leakage of food (milk) and saliva from the baby’s mouth and often occurs during the feed or in the hours to come, during digestion. It appears from the first milk intake e it tends to disappear around 12, maximum 18 months of life. So it can also happen during weaning with the first baby food. There are three types of reflux in infants:
- physiological, and in this case it is not to be considered worrying for his health
- chronic with visible decrease in growth, on this occasion the mother should contact the pediatrician to understand the cause and find remedies to the problem.
- symptomatic if it occurs often, even if the child grows normally and his weight does not undergo considerable fluctuations
In the first year of life the cause of this annoying phenomenon is immaturity of the digestive system who is not yet used to working in that way to feed the baby’s organism. In fact, all this is related to the abnormal functioning of the cardia, the valve that holds food and prevents it from going back up into the esophagus.
The cardia does not contract, the esophagus does not flatten and the food goes back up causing it to come out of the mouth. It can also happen that the little one take your mother’s milk eagerly and the stomach does not accept this surplus: it is unable to work adequately for the amount of milk arriving. Regurgitation is inevitable. Also, regurgitation often comes after burping and is followed by hiccups.
But if the causes are these, the phenomenon is to be considered physiological and by following only a few tips it is possible to avoid it or, at least, calm it down.
Regurgitation of the newborn, when to worry
If the regurgitation persists over time even after the period considered “physiological”, or the episodes are quite frequent, then serious measures should be taken to prevent the baby from getting stuck and other interventions are needed to help it grow.
It is always recommended contact the pediatrician who will know how to act and help the little one. It may be useful, for example, to add thickeners to formula milk.
Reflux of infants without regurgitation
The term gastroesophageal reflux (GER) defines the passage of gastric contents into the esophagus and in some cases it can be asymptomatic, without regurgitation. But it could be characterized by apnea crisis or laryngospasms, signs of a physical manifestation (regurgitation) that recurs more than necessary and goes beyond what could be defined as a “normal” or physiological episode. Other symptoms of reflux they could be heartburn, or retrosternal burning, dysphagia, or difficulty in swallowing, or odynophagia, that is a painful swallowing that leads to refusal of food, or respiratory problems such as cough, hoarseness or asthma.
Reflux is a rather widespread and frequent phenomenon in newborns in the first weeks of life and tends to disappear after the third month. It may not be a problem if the baby is gaining weight and is doing well, otherwise if the condition continues over time it is good to talk to the pediatrician who will be able to best advise and prescribe antacids, milk replacement or advice on feeding the baby.
Reflux is easily recognized and differs from He retched for the absence of retching. Furthermore, with the regurgitation the baby spontaneously expels a small quantity of milk. If the phenomenon persists, it can lead to irritation of the baby’s esophagus who will feel discomfort externalizing it with tears.
Reflux in infants what to do
Try to place the baby in a position favorable to digestion and that contrasts the rising of milk and saliva. Place it for approx 15 minutes after feeding in an upright position, or lay it on the bed, placing it with the head raised by 30 degrees, so that the milk can remain in the stomach for digestion and the valve can do its normal work.
The baby should not overeat and if he is breastfed it is preferable take a break during feedings, while if you take formula milk, your pediatrician may prescribe a thicker one (especially in the case of symptomatic reflux).
Regurgitation of the newborn and suffocation
We often read in the newspapers about babies who died in cribs due to regurgitation. How can we protect children and avoid putting them at risk? Here are some tips:
after feeding, the baby should be held in an upright position for a few minutes to make him burp
when it is placed in the cradle it must be fixed supine (i.e. on the back) because if a regurgitation occurs, the baby will automatically tend to turn his head to one side and let the liquid out
if regurgitation is frequent, put a pillow under the mattress in such a way as to keep the baby’s head a little higher