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Baby Spitting Up Clear Liquid

by Annabel Caldwell
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Baby Spitting Up Clear Liquid

Baby Spitting Up Clear Liquid

Sometimes the spit up or drool could be clear. Sometimes this is just partially digested formula or breast milk combined with saliva. Whether it is white or clear, a little spit-up or drool after a feed is normal.

When babies are born they usually have some sort of fluid coming from their mouths. This can take the form of mucus (a thin liquid that comes out of the nose and throat), saliva, or other secretions. The type or amount varies based on what part of the body produces them, how much food the baby eats, and whether there are any problems in the digestive system. Babies who eat very small amounts of food may only produce mucus while those who eat large quantities will need to secrete fluids into the mouth as well. In addition, if the baby has swallowed air during feeding then it will also become trapped in the stomach which causes gas pains for the infant. These symptoms typically resolve themselves within 24 hours of eating normally again. However, sometimes the spit up or drool could be clear. Sometimes this is just partially digested formula or breast milk combined with saliva. Whether it is white or clear, a little spit-up or drool after a feed is normal. It should not lead you to worry about the health of your child unless it becomes excessive. If you are concerned consult a doctor.
If your baby’s spit up appears milky then don’t panic. Most infants start producing colostrum soon after birth. Colostrum contains antibodies to help fight off infections so it can protect against illness until the immune system kicks in later. The coloration is caused by fat globules floating through the fluid. Fat globules change size when exposed to oxygen and water. When this happens they absorb oxygen and release carbon dioxide. This process gives colostrum its characteristic cloudy appearance. As the baby nurses more often the colostrum changes to look like regular milk. Don’t discard this because it still provides an excellent source of nutrients for newborns.
The next time you see your baby spitting up white or clear fluid ask yourself why. Is the baby getting enough food? Are they nursing frequently enough? Does he/she seem happy? You might want to consider consulting your pediatrician before worrying too much. There are many reasons why a baby would spit up clear fluid including dehydration, low blood sugar, infection, intestinal obstruction, malabsorption disorders such as cow’s milk protein allergy, and even reflux disease. A good way to test for these conditions is to keep track of how much milk your baby drinks and check his/her diaper daily. If you notice that your baby isn’t drinking much at all and his/her diaper doesn’t appear full then consult your pediatrician immediately.
There are many things you can do to prevent dehydration in children. Keep their favorite drinks stocked in the fridge and make sure to offer them regularly throughout the day. Offer lots of water and encourage healthy dietary habits. Avoid allowing juice or soda to sit long on the table; drink them quickly. Also avoid giving your baby popsicles or anything else made with fruit juices. Fruit juices contain sugars and acids that aren’t easily absorbed by the bowel and therefore cause diarrhea – another common reason for dehydration. Finally, watch closely for signs of dehydration such as dry skin, sunken eyes, wrinkled nails, decreased urination, and less interest in breastfeeding.
Reflux occurs when the esophagus cannot properly digest the stomach’s contents. Food moves back up the esophagus due to lack of acid production. Acid helps break down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Reflux generally affects babies under six months old but can happen at any age. Some signs include crying especially at night, poor weight gain, regurgitated content, and irritability. Your pediatrician can help determine if reflux is causing the problem. Once diagnosed, treatment includes stopping the intake of dairy products and decreasing the dosage of medication. Medications used to treat GERD include antacids, H2 blockers, proton pump inhibitors, and sucralfate cream.
Malnutrition is a condition where the level of nutrition provided to the patient is below the minimum required for proper functioning of vital organs and tissues. Common causes include inadequate calories, consumption of unbalanced diets, diseases or medications that interfere with digestion and absorption of nutrients, and parasites. Malnutrition leads to complications ranging from mild to severe. Signs of malnutrition include rapid rate of growth failure, emaciation, loss of appetite, recurrent infections, delayed wound healing, and impaired immunity.
A lactose intolerance is a condition where people have difficulty digesting foods containing lactose. Symptoms vary between individuals. Lactose intolerant patients may experience bloating, flatulence, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, constipation, or nausea. Treatment options include avoiding lactose containing foods altogether, taking enzyme supplements, using a special diet, or consuming specially processed foods.
Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy (CMA) is a reaction to ingesting certain types of proteins found in cows’ milk and related products. Children with CMA develop rashes, hives, eczema, wheezing, vomiting, and loose stools. Other symptoms may occur depending on severity of the allergy. Treatment options for CMPA include eliminating the allergic substance from the diet, administering antihistamines, and occasionally undergoing immunotherapy. Immunotherapy involves receiving injections of the specific offending substances over several years.
Food allergies affect approximately one in five American adults. One in three American kids suffer from allergies. Food allergies can range from minor reactions that disappear once the trigger food is removed to life threatening situations requiring immediate medical attention. Symptoms associated with food allergies include itching, swelling, rash, runny nose, sneezing, redness, trouble breathing, and dizziness. Foods most commonly linked to food allergies include peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts, fish, eggs, beef, pork, chicken, soy, corn, wheat, potatoes, and dairy products. Consult your physician if you suspect that your child suffers from food allergies. Treatment options depend on the severity of the allergy.
An electrolyte imbalance is a disturbance in the chemical equilibrium of the body leading to abnormal electrical activity. Electrolytes are minerals dissolved in the bloodstream. They maintain fluid balance within cells, transmit nerve impulses, regulate muscle contraction, and assist in maintaining the correct pH of the blood. There are two main groups of electrolytes: extracellular and intracellular. Extracellular electrolytes are found outside of cells and include sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, magnesium, and phosphate. Intracellular electrolytes are found inside cells and include calcium, chloride, sodium, potassium, and hydroxide. Imbalances in either group can cause disturbances in bodily functions. More serious imbalances require immediate medical attention. Electrolyte imbalance can also result from kidney failure, diabetes, heart failure, liver failure, cancer, trauma, surgery, burns, smoking, and infections.
Diarrhea, literally meaning “increased discharge,” refers to having abnormally frequent bowel movements. Diarrhea can occur due to a number of factors ranging from viruses to bacterial infections to parasitic infestations. Abdominal pain, fever, chills, and fatigue are also common indicators of diarrhea. Diarrhea can also be classified by consistency. Watery diarrhea is the least harmful kind of diarrhea and is caused by excess water being released from the intestines into the body resulting in frequent passing of stool. Loose, semi-formed stools are classified as having a moderate degree of diarrhea. Stools that are formed yet hard are considered to be highly urgent. Severe cases of diarrhea are accompanied by severe weakness and dehydration and require medical intervention.
Nursery rhinosporidiosis is a fungal infection caused by Rhinosporidium difficilium. R. difficilium lives in soil and thrives in warm humid environments. After entering the host’s body via contaminated food or water, the fungus spreads through the lymphatic system. Symptoms begin with a burning sensation around the anus followed by painful ulcers that ooze pus and blood. Nursery rhinosporidiosis is uncommon but can be fatal if left untreated. Treatment requires draining the lesions with surgical tools or cauterization procedures. Prevention includes washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating and wearing gloves while gardening.

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