20 answers

1 Mnth Old Projectile Vomiting After Feedings

My 1 month old daughter has begun to vomit excessively shortly after feeding. The episodes do not seem to be causing her any discomfort, but I am really beginning to worry that something is wrog. Her doctor said that she is fine and that it is normal, but to watch to make sure it doesn't begin to happen more frequently. I have been hospitalized once and to the E.R. once since she was born and have been on antibotics. My OBGYN and her pediatrician have both said the meds I have taken should not be affecting her and that it is safe for me to continue breastfeeding while taking them. Please help!

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Thank you to everyone that responded to my request for help with figuring out why my 1 month old daughter is projectile vomiting. She is still vomiting, but my husband and I have decided to give it until this Monday to take her back to the doctor. I stopped the breast milk and began giving her Enfamil, but she still vomitted so we feel that it is not my breast milk with antibotics in it. Thank you Tashina S,. Melissa A., Nancy A., Whitney C. and Crystal for your advice!

10/09/07: Thank all of you again for sharing all your feeding experiences and advice with me. My daughter has stopped the projectile vomiting, hopefully for ever, and is doing just fine. What I ended up doing was waiting through the weekend to see if she would stop, start breastfeeding again (only) and burping her after about 5-10 minutes of feeding and then allowing her to finish.

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Have you asked your baby's doctor about Gerud? It kind of sounds like that to me. It is when babies can't keep their milk down. I have a niece that when she was a baby she would spit up her formula to the point that it was just like a hose shooting water out of her mouth. I don't know if this will help, but it wouldn't hurt to ask the doctor.

Honestly, as long as your baby is not showing signs of discomfort, this is probably just a laundry issue.
The most common cause of "excessive" spiting up in breastfeeding babies is Over active letdown.
You might notice that when your milk lets down your baby gulps at the breast....
This can cause babies to take in too much milk at a feeding, and then spit a good bit back.
If you would like more individual help with this, e-mail me at ____@____.com I am an IBCLC and would be happy to help you work through this.
L. G

try burping her more often

My daughter also had this problem. I took her to several doctors, who performed many tests, including upper and lower G.I.'s, ultrasound, you name it.

She would projectile vomit up to 20 times a day, yet she continued to gain weight normally and otherwise be normal. The doctor put her on some medicine for Reflux, which is what they diagnosed her with, but I didn't like the glassy-eyed look she would get when on the medicine, so I took her off of it myself...good thing, too, as that medicine was later found to have seriously harmed children, and in some instances, caused the death of some babies.

We tried every single formula out there. Breast milk, she would vomit up, all formula's, soy milk, goat's milk, etc...she would always vomit it up, so I know it wasn't an allergy. She simply had some kinks in her system.

Thank goodness I found the best home daycare in the world, or I don't know what I would have done. Most daycares won't or can't deal with a child who vomits 20 times a day.

We ended up just having to let her outgrow it. She stopped vomiting so excessively when she was about 11 months old. It was a serious trial to go through. I always had to carry multiple hand towels around everywhere we went, just to mop up the vomit, not to mention the laundry I had to do! Well, you can imagine.

However, just because her problem was Reflux doesn't mean that is the problem your child has. You should try your child on a few different formula's, in case of an allergy to breast milk. If you can, take her to a pediatric gastroenterologist, who specializes in intestinal problems for children. Make sure all of the tests are done, because she could have something like an intestinal blockage or stomach spasms or some kink in her intestines. They checked my daughter for all of those things, and she didn't have them, but you never know.

Good luck...but keep in mind, as long as she is gaining weight and her throat isn't sore from so much vomiting, she will probably be ok. I would definitely take her to another doctor, though, if your gut feeling is that there is something wrong. We know our children far better than our doctor's do.

I am studying to be child development psychologist and am a mother of three (all breastfed for over 1 yr until they weaned themselves). I am not a Dr, but have taken nursing classes and am also studying to become a lactation consultant and postpartum doula.

Projectile vomiting and even spitting up is not normal reaction of breast fed children, and while it could be your meds causing this you have stated that she still vommited while giving her formula.

There are a few things that could cause this.
Try sitting her more upright when you are feeding her.
Make sure you have a good latch and she is not taking in air during the feedings.
Make sure you burp her well after feedings, sometimes it takes awhile to get a good burp out.

There are also medical causes. Two of the more common ones I can think of are reflux which is not as common in a breasfed only baby as a formula fed baby, but it is definitely possible.

The second is more serious. It is Pyloric Stenosis.
My nephew was a preemie and in the NICU for a couple of months. After he got home he had this same projectile vomiting reaction, and after many trips to the Dr and ER and my sister pushing very hard they did some tests and diagnosed him with Pyloric Stenosis. Most cases of this can be corrected with surgery, which is what my nephew had to have. You can read more about it by looking at this website or google Pyloric Stenosis. http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/medical/digestive/pylori...

Definitely have her tested for Pyloric Stenosis as a babay can go downhill very fast with this condition.

Bless your heart, T.. A couple of things -- first, surf www.lalecheleague.org and www.kellymom.com, it could be nothing, it could be reflux, it could be overactive milk ejection reflex or foremilk-hindmilk imbalance. I'm glad you spoke to your pediatrician.

Have you gotten in touch with a lactation consultant? You might want to do that, or join any one of the local breastfeeding moms' yahoo groups and talk to local nursing moms.

Hello T.,
First off I have noticed your responses are suggesting to you that there is something wrong with your baby and that you need to seek more advice and such. Maybe if she continues to do this, then yes seek more advice. However, I would suggest giving it a little time because I think she will stop. My daughter did this too. She was also breastfed. She would get a belly ache and thought that eating would make it better, only to find out that there was no room for what she had consumed and it would project out of her before I could even sit her up. After about a week or so, she started to slack off and was done with the vomiting. I have to say also that I have never heard of a breastfed baby getting reflux. It might happen, but I have only ever known of bottle fed babies getting that. Also, if you trust your pediatrician and physician, then listen to them. If you really feel thought that they are missing something though then encourage more tests and such, but since you said she doesn't seem to be effected by the vomiting then give it a little time and see if it resolves itself.
Good luck.....

She might have roto virus or acid reflux. Both can be treated by meds. If it is roto virus it will be accompiened with very bad diarhea. It too will be projectile, very smelly, and green. She needs to be drinking plenty of pedialyte so that she doesn't get dehyrated. By any chance has she been acting like she was choking or having a hard time swallowing or catching her breath. If this is also going on then you need to get her check for Larengotrechiomalcia. What that means is that the Larengotrech isn't fully developed. She would need to be under a specialist doctor and not just a regular one. My advice is to follow you motherly instincts and to take her to the children's hospital for the specialist to run some test on her. They will take care of her and get her better. I went through all of this with my son. If you have any questions or would like to talk you can email me.

You should demand to be referred to a pediatric GI specialist if she continues. My daughter also did this and it turned out to be extreme esophageal reflux. It got so bad by 4 months old that she refused to eat at all because it hurt. This developed into a feeding aversion where she would not take the bottle at all. She was in the hospital for a week and came home with a feeding tube for several months until she grew out of this extreme condition. This is why I quit breastfeeding. I had to put cereal in her bottle at 2 weeks old to weigh it down. I am not telling you all this to scare you but I would find a good specialist if she does not improve. My daughter is one year old and doing so much better now. The good news is if it is reflux most of the time it improves by age 1. Good Luck and hang in there!

Hi T.!
I have two suggestions. The first is to get her checked out for, and on some meds for, acid reflux. My daughter had this, and she would drink a whole bottle, then 10-20 minutes later would projectile vomit. I am talking 3 feet projected against my walls sometimes. Then she would be hungry again, and the episodes would repeat. Once we got her on the AR formula for reflux and the prescriptions, she was much better, and just spit up like normal.

But I also feel like warning you of "pyloric stenosis", which is a much more serious condition that causes projectile vomiting after feeding. My nephew had this, and had surgery for it at 4 weeks. He is much better, 2 yrs old now, normal boy toddler. But basically a stomach muscle did not stretch out properly and would not allow the formula to pass. A GI xray is required to diagnose this, but perhaps your peds doc can refer you to get one, if the reflux meds don't work.
As long as the meds you are on do not harm your baby, keep breastfeeding though, as that is best for her, and you. The meds, or if needed surgery, will take care of the rest.



Our first two children both did this and our third didn't and the only difference we found in their care was that the first two had always nursed on both breasts at one feeding and when our third child was born, she always only nursed on one breast at a feeding. She would get full on one side and not even bother with the other and usually go sound asleep. She did nurse more frequently that way but never ever had the projectile vomiting the other two had. My milk lets down very forcefully so I think she would just get full quicker and the other two, even though they got full, they were little piggies :0) and kept nursing, and we just didn't realize at the time what could have been causing it. So you might want to just give it a try on one breast at a feeding for a day or so, to see if it makes a difference. If the baby falls asleep nursing on one side, don't bother switching. And don't try to burp her either. Give the milk time to settle. If she has to burp, she'll be restless and you'll know she has to. If she is sleeping soundly, then in my experience, she is fine and doesn't need to. Breastfed babies are different that way than bottle fed babies. The Dr.'s told us if they are gaining weight and don't seem to be overly fussy than it is normal and not to worry. Hope this helps!

Both of my children had this problem. Right after a feeding, they would projectile vomit. The doctor did eventually prescribe zantac for them. This only helped a little. I was told, as long as they are thriving and growing and not hungry, they will be fine. They outgrew it. There were some days I worried they were not getting enough food, because it was all coming back up. But, they both were fine and turned out all right. They are both now health as horses and have no problems with reflux at all.

Yes sometimes it means she overeats but alot of the time it is acid reflux. my daughter had severe acid reflux. also when i took dairy out of my diet with both of girls they cried alot less and i loved dairy..my daughter knows sees a speciaist and found out it wasn't all acid reflux but that her stomach only works at 46% which is more common than i thought..i hope this helps...

This is just a worse case scenario, but it is a possibility. One of the girls I used to work with had the same problem of her son projectile vomiting after every feeding. The doc said at 1st if was just the formula he was on, so they swtiched him several times, until they ended up with the nutamigen, but even taht didn't help. so then they said he had reflux and put him on an Rx acid reducer and that still didn't work. We the baby started getting worse and losing weight and getting dehydrated. He had to be hospitalized. They found out he had a condition called pyloric stenosis(sp?). It's a condtion where the top sphincter of the stomach closes off and won't reopen. When this happens,little or no food(milk) can enter the stomach so then the baby justvomits it back up. She said is fairly common and is corrected with surgery. Like I said though, that's a worse care scenario and I hope that is not what is going on with your child. But at least you can be aware of the condition and ask the ped about it if she doesn't start to improve.

My youngest son had this problem. We switched formula among other things. He was put in the hospital for 3 days because they thought that he had pyloric stanosis (sp - the problem the lady above mentioned about the spincter ) after they did an ultrasound they ruled that out. He was diagnosed with Acid Reflux. He started taking Prevacid twice a day. And after a few days of the med getting in his system, he was doing a lot better. He will be 3 in Dec and unfortunetly hasn't outgrown it. He still takes Prevacid twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Good luck!!!!!!

You could try swapping breast milk with formula with rice cereal. That is what happened to my neighbors son. He was loosing weight so she started giving him formula and rice cereal and he is eating alot better. Along with a perscription from his pediatrition. For reflux

you may have to try lacto free enfamil, my son did the same thing and now he is two and was dx. with asthma at 6 mths and reflux at like 2 mths. they did all kind of test on him to see what the problem was and it seems the reason he had such bad reflux was becasuse it was hard from him to breath while eating. not trying to scare you but that is what happend to us.

My son did the same thing. Things to look for are are they having normal bowel movements. My son had pyloris stenosis and had to have emergency surgery. He had a BM aout a quarter size once a week and was vomitting about every other bottle feeding. This is not to make you panic, but just to alert you to watch out for certain things.

As some previous responses imply, it may be normal spitting up. I have had a child who had the projectile episodes and it is nothing like spitting up as you well know. Our daughter started this also at about one month old and we switched formulas several times before being put on a high dollar one, Alimentum (spelling?). It is specially made for babies with sensitive systems and it solved all of our problems. I hated the expense, but it was worth it with her being able to tolerate it. Try a few different formulas for a 4-5 day period and if they fail to stop the problem, try this one.

I got sick of being treated like a lunatic mom who saw something wrong in everything when my son was "fine" according to his then-ped. Get a second opinion. Usually pediatricians work with fellows so unless it's a single-dr office (which sometimes spells entrepreneurship but mostly spells "OTHER PEOPLE CANT STAND WORKING WITH ME BC MY EGO'S TOO BIG!"), you should easily be able to request a second opinion. Don't worry about hurting the dr's feelings....they usually welcome the chance to be proven correct. If that is a concern though, or if you want an expressly unbiased opinion, seek out a different (well-recommended) pediatrician. I had to do the same with my son as an infant and was subsequently referred to a pediatric gastrointerologist when he was 6 months - found out he had a hernia, reflux, colic, and was allergic to EVERYTHING (had to be put on a completely synthetic formula - alimentum). We did some abdominal massage to get the hernia down so his tissue could grow over it and as soon as we to the formula, he was a completely different baby.

Get a second opinion....ask friends for a good ped, or do some research on the internet! And remember - dr's are great but they don't know everything. What they think may be a fretful overly concerned mother could be an actual medical problem they hadn't considered. *OR* it could be nothing much that she will grow out of.

GOOD LUCK! Our prayers are with you :)

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