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Baby Spit Up Breast Milk But Not Formula

by Annabel Caldwell
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Baby Spit Up Breast Milk But Not Formula

Baby Spit Up Breast Milk But Not Formula

Babies regularly spit up when they drink too much milk, too quickly. This can happen when the baby feeds very fast, or when mom’s breasts are overfull. The amount of spit up can appear to be much more than it really is. Food sensitivities can cause excessive spitting up in babies.

Babies regularly spit up when they drink too much milk, too quickly. This can happen when the baby feeds very fast, or when mom’s breasts are overfilled with milk and then emptied too rapidly. It can also occur if a baby has food allergies that produce excess gas. These foods can include dairy products like cheese and yogurt as well as fruits such as bananas and apples. In addition, some babies who have been fed formula exclusively for several months will suddenly start spitting up large amounts of breastmilk.
While this may seem contrary to everything you’ve ever heard about how babies should eat, it actually makes perfect sense. Babies don’t need to start eating solid food until around 6 months old. When they do begin trying solids, their digestive systems aren’t ready to handle the sudden intake of a variety of different textures at once. Instead, it’s best to introduce small quantities of various foods at regular intervals, starting with just pureed vegetables first before introducing other foods. So why would we expect a newborn to go from receiving only breastmilk or formula to consuming all sorts of new foods at once?
The amount of spit-up doesn’t necessarily indicate an allergy, although it can certainly make your job harder if you’re not sure what’s causing it. While some people assume that spitting up indicates a problem with the milk supply or lactose intolerance, it could simply mean that there’s something wrong with the baby’s diet. If the mother is feeding her child raw carrots, celery, broccoli and apple juice, but the baby still spits up the same amount, then it’s probably not due to a sensitivity to those particular foods. However, if the baby is eating lots of mashed potatoes and drinking lots of chocolate milk and the result is still excessive spitting up, then you might want to consider testing the baby for a possible food allergy.
Food Allergies Can Cause Excessive Spitting Up
Just because a baby drinks a lot of one thing — whether breastmilk or formula — doesn’t automatically mean he or she is allergic to that substance. A baby who was born premature is usually given a wide range of formulas during his or her stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) because preemies typically receive formulas high in protein, calories and minerals while they remain in the NICU. After discharge, the parents often switch the baby back to standard infant formula because most infants grow so slowly that they rarely gain weight on the special formula. Unfortunately, the special formula contains ingredients that many babies develop allergies to later in life.
Excess spitting up can also occur with babies who have food allergies. For example, a baby who had started off formula-only eventually develops a milk allergy and starts getting sick every time he drinks anything other than milk. With these babies, even though they were previously drinking a healthy bottle of formula each day, they suddenly began spewing out gallons of milk after meals.
In both cases above — babies who get too much of the same type of food and babies whose diets contain certain foods — the body’s reaction is basically the same. It creates extra work for the stomach muscles by producing too much liquid, which causes cramps and pain. The resulting discomfort can lead to crying, fussiness and irritability. Some babies become constipated, others lose bowel control.
To prevent excessive spitting up, pay attention to what your baby eats and try to match his or her daily intake of nutrients. Make sure that whatever your child consumes provides enough calcium, iron and fiber, especially since these nutrients help the digestive system function properly. Also, keep in mind that babies’ bodies are designed to self-regulate. They know when they’ve eaten enough to maintain their energy levels, and they’ll stop eating when they feel satisfied.
If your child shows signs of vomiting after eating, take him or her to see a doctor immediately. Vomiting can be a sign of dehydration or poisoning, which requires medical treatment.

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