It is quite normal for babies to spit some of the food after being fed. This occurs since babies tend to swallow air while eating and they are supposed to burp after the meal to release the swollen air. Together with air a baby usually spits some of the food. However, if the previously mentioned is additionally accompanied by crying during feeding or if the baby simple refuses to eat the parents should consult a pediatrician since there may be certain underlying cause which bothers the baby. Excessive regurgitation of the food in infants may be a sign of acid reflux disease.
Causes of Infant Reflux
There are many causes of infant acid reflux disease. They include indigestion, over-feeding of the baby and sometimes even underfeeding of the baby. Furthermore, this medical condition may develop as a consequence of improper functioning of the esophageal sphincter. The function of this muscle is to close adequately and not allow stomach acid to enter the esophagus. Malfunctioning of the esophageal sphincter allows food and stomach acid to re-enter the esophagus and cause irritation.
Symptoms of Infant Reflux
The most common symptoms of infant reflux are vomiting, coughing, swallowing difficulty, stomach pain, sore throat, bad breath and spitting up too much food. In case that stomach acid enters the trachea the baby may develop breathing difficulties. The consequence of improper intake of food is noticeable weight loss. When babies are sick they tend to cry continuously and are very irritated this should be taken seriously and the baby must be taken to pediatrician. Infant reflux requires timely setting of the diagnosis and adequate treatment. If left untreated reflux may become a cause of pneumonia, asthma and bronchitis.
Treatment for Infant Reflux
The basic concept of treatment for infant reflux is a combination of specific dietary/ feeding changes and certain medications.
Infants are usually prescribed antacids and acid blockers. These medications are highly effective in reduction of the acidity of the stomach fluid. If the reflux has caused pneumonia or even asthma infants need to be administered several more medications which will bring these medical conditions under control.
Mild cases of infant reflux may be successfully treated with dietary changes. Namely, baby is supposed to be erected during feeding. This position will prevent regurgitation of the food into the esophagus. After being fed the baby needs to be held in the same position for at least an hour. If the baby is sleepy it may be placed in bed but on the elevated pillow. If baby is fed more frequently and the amount of milk taken during each meal decreases, the condition may also improve.
And finally, mothers who are breastfeeding need to pay attention on what they eat since certain food may be passed via milk and cause reflux in infants.