Babies sick after feeds

Reflux in babies - NHS

Reflux is when a baby brings up milk, or is sick, during or shortly after feeding. It's very common and usually gets better on its own.

Check if your baby has reflux

Reflux usually starts before a baby is 8 weeks old and gets better by the time they're 1.

Symptoms of reflux in babies include:

  • bringing up milk or being sick during or shortly after feeding
  • coughing or hiccupping when feeding
  • being unsettled during feeding
  • swallowing or gulping after burping or feeding
  • crying and not settling
  • not gaining weight as they're not keeping enough food down

Sometimes babies may have signs of reflux but will not bring up milk or be sick. This is known as silent reflux.

Things you can try to ease reflux in babies

Your baby does not usually need to see a doctor if they have reflux, as long as they're happy, healthy and gaining weight.


  • ask a health visitor for advice and support

  • get advice about your baby's breastfeeding position or how to bottle feed your baby

  • hold your baby upright during feeding and for as long as possible after feeding

  • burp your baby regularly during feeds

  • give formula-fed babies smaller feeds more often

  • make sure your baby sleeps flat on their back (they should not sleep on their side or front)

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if your baby:

  • is not improving after trying things to ease reflux
  • gets reflux for the first time after they're 6 months old
  • is older than 1 and still has reflux
  • is not gaining weight or is losing weight

Urgent advice: Ask for an urgent GP appointment or call 111 if your baby:

  • has vomit that's green or yellow, or has blood in it
  • is projectile vomiting (being sick with more force than usual)
  • has blood in their poo
  • has a swollen or tender tummy
  • has a very high temperature or they feel hot or shivery
  • keeps being sick and cannot keep fluid down
  • has diarrhoea that lasts for over a week or has signs of dehydration
  • will not stop crying and is very distressed
  • is refusing to feed

Also call your GP or 111 if you have any other concerns about your baby.

Treatment for reflux in babies

A GP or specialist may sometimes recommend treatments for reflux.

If your baby is formula-fed, you may be given:

  • a powder that's mixed with formula to thicken it
  • a pre-thickened formula milk

If the thickening powder does not help or your baby is breastfed, a GP or specialist might recommend medicines that stop your baby's stomach producing as much acid.

Very rarely, surgery might be needed to strengthen the muscles to stop food or milk travelling back up. This is usually only after trying other things or if their reflux is severe.

Causes of reflux

Reflux usually happens because your baby's food pipe (oesophagus) has not fully developed, so milk can come back up easily.

Your baby's oesophagus will develop as they get older and the reflux should stop.

Page last reviewed: 13 December 2021
Next review due: 13 December 2024

Pyloric Stenosis (for Parents) - Nemours KidsHealth

What Is Pyloric Stenosis?

Pyloric stenosis is a condition that can affect the gastrointestinal tract in babies. It can make a baby vomit forcefully and often, and can lead to other problems, such as dehydration. Pyloric stenosis needs medical care right away.

What Happens in Pyloric Stenosis?

Food and other stomach contents pass through the pylorus, the lower part of the stomach, to enter the small intestine. Pyloric stenosis (pie-LOR-ik stih-NOE-sis) is a narrowing of the pylorus. When a baby has pyloric stenosis, this narrowing of the pyloric channel prevents food from emptying out of the stomach.

Pyloric stenosis (also called infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis) is a type of gastric outlet obstruction, which means a blockage from the stomach to the intestines.

Pyloric stenosis affects about 3 out of 1,000 babies in the United States. It's more likely to affect firstborn male infants and also runs in families — if a parent had pyloric stenosis, then a baby has up to a 20% risk of developing it. Most infants who have it develop symptoms 3 to 5 weeks after birth.

What Causes Pyloric Stenosis?

It's thought that babies who develop pyloric stenosis are not born with it, but have progressive thickening of the pylorus after birth. A baby will start to show symptoms when the pylorus is so thick that the stomach can't empty properly.

The cause of this thickening isn't clear. It might be a combination of several things. For example, use of erythromycin (an antibiotic) in babies in the first 2 weeks of life or antibiotics given to moms at the end of pregnancy or during breastfeeding can be associated with pyloric stenosis.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Pyloric Stenosis?

Symptoms of pyloric stenosis typically begin when a baby is around 3 weeks old. They include:

  • Vomiting. The first symptom is usually vomiting. At first it may seem that the baby is just spitting up often, but then it tends to become projectile vomiting, in which the breast milk or formula is ejected forcefully from the mouth, in an arc, sometimes over a distance of several feet. Projectile vomiting usually takes place soon after the end of a feeding, although in some cases it can happen hours later.

    The vomited milk might smell curdled because it has mixed with stomach acid. The vomit will not contain bile, a greenish fluid from the liver that mixes with digested food after it leaves the stomach.

    Despite vomiting, a baby with pyloric stenosis is usually hungry again soon after vomiting and will want to eat. It's important to know that even with the vomiting, the baby might not seem to be in great pain or at first look very ill.

  • Changes in stools. Babies with pyloric stenosis usually have fewer, smaller stools (poops) because little or no food is reaching the intestines. Constipation or poop with mucus also can happen.
  • Failure to gain weight or weight loss. Most babies with pyloric stenosis will fail to gain weight or will lose weight. As the condition gets worse, they might become dehydrated.

    Dehydrated infants are less active than usual, and they may develop a sunken "soft spot" on their heads and sunken eyes, and their skin may look wrinkled. Because less pee is made, they can go more than 4 to 6 hours between wet diapers.

  • Waves of peristalsis. After feeds, increased stomach contractions may make noticeable ripples, which move from left to right over the baby's belly as the stomach tries to empty itself against the thickened pylorus.

It's important to call your doctor if your baby has any of these symptoms.

Other conditions can cause similar problems. For instance:

  • gastroesophageal reflux (GER) usually begins before 8 weeks of age. GER involves lots of spitting up (reflux) after feedings, which can look like vomiting. But most babies with GER don't have projectile vomiting, and while they might have trouble gaining weight, they usually have normal poops.
  • milk protein allergy also can make a baby spit up or vomit, and have diarrhea. But these babies don't have projectile vomiting.
  • gastroenteritis (inflammation in the digestive tract that can be caused by viral or bacterial infection) also can cause vomiting and dehydration. But babies with gastroenteritis usually also have diarrhea with loose, watery, or sometimes bloody stools. Diarrhea usually isn't seen with pyloric stenosis.

How Is Pyloric Stenosis Diagnosed?

The doctor will ask detailed questions about the baby's feeding and vomiting patterns, including what the vomit looks like. The  doctor will do an exam, and note any weight loss or failure to maintain growth since birth.

The doctor will check for a lump in the abdomen. If the doctor feels this lump, which usually is firm and movable and feels like an olive, it's a strong indication that a baby has pyloric stenosis.

If pyloric stenosis seems likely,  the doctor probably will order an abdominal ultrasound. The enlarged, thickened pylorus will show on ultrasound images. The doctor may ask that the baby not be fed for several hours before an ultrasound.

Sometimes doctors order a barium swallow instead of an ultrasound. Babies swallow a small amount of a chalky liquid (barium). Then, special X-rays are done that let the doctor check the pyloric area for any narrowing or blockage.

The doctor also might order blood tests to check levels of electrolytes (minerals that help keep fluids balanced and vital organs working properly). An electrolyte imbalance often happens due to the ongoing vomiting of stomach acid and dehydration, and needs to be corrected.

How Is Pyloric Stenosis Treated?

When an infant is diagnosed with pyloric stenosis, either by ultrasound or barium swallow, the baby will be admitted to the hospital and prepared for surgery. Any dehydration or electrolyte problems in the blood will be corrected with intravenous (IV) fluids, usually within 24 hours.

Doctors do a surgery called pyloromyotomy (pie-lor-oh-my-OT-uh-me) to relieve the blockage. Using a small incision (cut), the surgeon examines the pylorus and separates and spreads the thick, tight muscles. This relaxes and opens those muscles.

The surgery can also be done through laparoscopy. This technique uses a tiny scope placed through a small cut in the belly button, letting the doctor see the area of the pylorus. Using other small instruments placed in nearby incisions, the doctor can complete the surgery.

Most babies return to normal feedings fairly quickly, usually 3 to 4 hours after the surgery. Because of swelling at the surgery site, a baby may still vomit small amounts for a day or so. If there are no complications, most babies who have had pyloromyotomy can return to a normal feeding schedule and go home within 24 to 48 hours of the surgery.

If you're breastfeeding, you might worry about continuing while your baby is hospitalized. The hospital staff should be able to provide a breast pump and help you use it so that you can continue to express milk until your baby can feed regularly.

After a successful pyloromyotomy, your baby won't need to follow any special feeding schedules. Your doctor will probably want to examine your child at a follow-up appointment to make sure the surgical site is healing properly and that your baby is feeding well and maintaining or gaining weight.

Pyloric stenosis should not happen again after a pyloromyotomy. If your baby still has symptoms weeks after the surgery, there might be another medical problem, such as gastritis or GER, so let your doctor know right away.

When Should I Call the Doctor?

Pyloric stenosis is an urgent condition that needs immediate treatment. Call your doctor if your baby:

  • has lasting or projectile vomiting after feeding
  • is losing weight or not gaining weight as expected
  • is less active than usual or is very sleepy
  • has few or no stools (poops) over a period of 1 or 2 days
  • show signs of dehydration, such as more than 4 to 6 hours between wet diapers, a sunken "soft spot" on the head, or sunken eyes

Why do babies get sick? - articles of the Cosma clinic

It is known that acute respiratory viral infections (ARVI) or colds make up two thirds of visits to a pediatrician, and infants are no exception.

Abdulova Rufiya Kosymovna
pediatrician of the highest category
Children's Polyclinic "KOSMA"

It is known that acute respiratory viral infections (ARVI) or colds make up two thirds of visits to the pediatrician, and infants are no exception. nine0003

At what age can a child become ill?

It is known that up to six months, children still retain the immunity received from the mother, especially if the child is breastfed. In addition, infants are practically isolated from unnecessary contacts, which reduces the likelihood of contracting viral infections. After 6 months, unfortunately, the risk of morbidity of the child increases. With age, the child begins to form his own immune system, training to give responses to infections. nine0003

What determines the child's morbidity?

Due to the functional immaturity of their immunity, children under 4 years of age get sick more often than adults. Children who are breastfed normally can get sick no more than 2 times a year. Children traveling with their parents and attending events with a large crowd of people, as well as babies who are bottle-fed, can get sick at the age of 1 year - up to 4 times, at the age of 4 children - up to 8 times a year. This is considered the norm.

How does breast milk protect the baby's health? nine0003

Breast milk is a living biologically active medium. It is impossible to synthesize and repeat in the milk mixture the diversity of all the ingredients of human milk - micronutrients, hormones, growth-stimulating factors, vitamins.

Every year, scientists discover more and more components in breast milk that are important for a child's health. It is known that every day a child receives with breast milk 50 mg of immunoglobulin A (a humoral immunity factor that inhibits infection on the mucous membranes), which is equivalent to 50 doses of immunoglobulin that are administered to children with various immunopathological conditions. nine0003

Artificial feeding is stressful for the tiny human organism.

And any stress causes a sharp decrease in the child's immunity. Therefore, artificers get sick 2 times more often than babies.

How does ARVI get infected?

ARVI infection occurs from a sick person - an adult, a child attending a kindergarten or school. It has been proven that almost 80% of people are infected with various types of viruses that constantly live inside cells. With a decrease in immunity, viruses turn into aggressors for the immune system of their host. This applies, first of all, to persistent viruses that are more often manifested in the first year of life - herpes, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus (causing infectious mononucleosis). Most SARS are caused by viruses. These are influenza virus, adenovirus, rhinovirus, rhinosincitial viruses, enteroviruses. In the first month of life, the baby is protected by antibodies and other immune factors received through the placenta from the mother. In addition, infants are practically isolated from unnecessary contacts, which reduces the likelihood of contracting SARS. With age, the child begins to form his own immune system, training to give responses to infections. nine0003

How to recognize SARS?

The first signs of ARVI in babies are a violation of well-being, inappropriate behavior. Children become capricious, often cry, sleep and appetite worsen. In some cases, vomiting occurs. The temperature rises: from subfebrile (from 37.1 degrees C) to high numbers (39-40 degrees C). Catarrhal phenomena (runny nose, cough) with various viral infections appear at different times - from the first hours to 2-3 days of illness. There may be difficulty breathing due to swelling and inflammation of the nasal passages (no discharge) or a watery, profuse coryza. The cough (at first dry) gradually turns into a wet one. If a child still falls ill with ARVI in the 1st month of life, in most cases, this will be an indication for his hospitalization in a hospital. For infants, the most common acute respiratory viral infection is a fairly serious disease that can worsen within a few hours with the development of complications such as otitis media, obstructive bronchitis, pneumonia, ethmoid sinusitis (accompanied by swelling, cyanosis in the eye area around the orbit of the eye, may appear within a few hours on the background of a runny nose and even without a temperature). nine0003

Why is the baby snoring?

Sniffling in children of the first 3 months of life is considered a physiological condition, and can even serve as a means of communication with the mother. The baby regulates the frequency, the pace of the sounds made by the nose. If the mother does not respond, he starts screaming. Usually, sniffing does not interfere with the act of sucking, in contrast to sniffing with SARS, when there is rhinitis.

Infants have abundant vascularization (blood supply) of the nasal mucosa in the presence of narrow and short nasal passages. And any irritation (hypothermia, dry air in the room or frequent cleanings of the nose) leads to swelling of the mucous membrane, clear discharge from the nose, or a large number of crusts. nine0003

In ARVI, sniffing becomes noisier, frequent due to difficulty in nasal breathing, mucous discharges appear. The child learns to breathe through an open mouth. With SARS, swelling of the mucosa with copious discharge from the nose is seriously reflected in the well-being of the baby.

Your baby needs a humidifier to breathe freely. In its absence, you can place vases with water in different places in the room. On a hot radiator, wet sheets dry too quickly, leaving the smell of washing powder in the air. nine0003

What should I do if my baby is sick?

If a baby falls ill before a year old, you should definitely call a doctor who will adequately assess the child's condition and prescribe treatment! In no case should you treat a child of the first months on your own!

When breastfeeding, breastfeed more often. It has been proven that depending on the condition of the child, milk changes its composition even during the act of sucking, there appear active substances necessary for the child.

During any illness, the child should be well watered, because the dry cell does not respond to drugs at all. nine0003

If the baby does not latch well, he should be given additional boiled water.

Do not change the child's diet during illness!

Why is a high temperature dangerous in a child?

A child's fever is considered to be above 38°C measured in the rectum, or above 37. 5°C in the armpit. It is important not to allow the temperature to rise above 38.5 g C. In children under one year old, it is necessary to measure the temperature every 15 minutes, in babies older than 12 months - after 30 minutes. High temperature (over 38.5 C) adversely affects not only viruses and microbes, but also the child's body, up to the development of dehydration or seizures. nine0003

How can I lower my child's temperature?

It's good when, against the background of a temperature, the child is all warm, willingly drinks, he is hot. If the temperature continues to rise, physical cooling methods should be used, which should be recommended by a doctor. To lower the temperature, undress the child, give an antipyretic syrup, or insert an antipyretic suppository. It is desirable that antipyretic drugs paracetamol (allowed from 0 years of age) and ibuprofen (allowed from 3 months of age) and in various forms (syrup, suppositories) are always present in the home medicine cabinet. It is necessary to use this or that drug only as prescribed by a doctor! Usually the temperature drops within 30-40 minutes after taking the medicine. Do not try to quickly reduce the temperature, it is also hard for the body, as its rapid increase (with chills). If the temperature was 39gr C, then it is enough to reduce it to 38 gr C. After that, it is necessary to solder the child, regularly ventilate the room. The first sign that the temperature has dropped is increased sweating. Become wet axillary folds, occipital region, inguinal folds.

When is an ambulance required?

It happens that in a child, against the background of a high temperature, the limbs become cold and "marble", ears, nose, or the temperature increases with severe chills. This temperature is more difficult to decrease, so you should immediately call an ambulance. nine0003

How to prevent SARS infection?

Prevention of acute respiratory viral infections and frequent colds begins even before the conception of a child. Ideally, future parents should be examined and treated for chronic viral infections - herpesvirus, cytomegalovirus, papillomavirus. Nursing women should receive a balanced diet, and take multivitamins for nursing mothers during the cold season. For the baby, it is important to prevent background diseases that worsen the state of immunity - rickets, anemia. It is important for children (especially those who are breastfed) to give vitamin D in prophylactic doses in the autumn-winter period. Very useful are frequent walks in the fresh air in the green zone, where there are fewer children. Useful courses of treatment with probiotics, which are prescribed by a doctor. It is especially recommended for formula-fed children, as well as during the introduction of complementary foods and when the season changes. During these periods, intestinal epithelial cells that produce immunoglobulin A suffer. Adults and older children in the family, when symptoms of SARS appear, must wear disposable masks, use disposable handkerchiefs and start treatment in a timely manner. Masks should be changed every 3 hours. It is necessary to remember the importance of disposing of masks and disposable handkerchiefs, since numerous viruses settle on them: do not forget to tightly tie the mask / handkerchief in a plastic bag before disposal! nine0003

In addition, daily measures are important ways to prevent SARS: frequent wet cleaning of the premises by wiping all surfaces, including door handles, with a damp cloth; washing hands with soap at every opportunity, moreover, you need to wash not only the palms, but also the lower third of the forearms.

What other factors affect children's health?

For infants, a close connection with the mother, her emotional balance is very important.

When a mother rarely takes the baby in her arms (“let the baby cry, it develops the lungs”), or she is busy with work during the breastfeeding period and leaves the baby in the care of nannies or grandmothers, the baby develops emotional rejection from the person closest to him. And this is the strongest stress in the life of a child, which leads to the development of a hypoimmune state (weakened immunity) and frequent colds. The health of children largely depends on the microclimate in the family. Frequent scandals in the family in the presence of children and the low emotional background of the mother reduce the immunity of the child and lead to illness. If a mother is going on vacation or on a business trip alone, a wise child can fall ill at this particular time, as if showing that she cannot do without her mother. nine0003

The health of your children largely depends on you, dear parents, on your emotional background, on the way of life of your family, on how much you learn to feel your child subtly, predict his condition, take reasonable and timely measures when the disease develops.

Good health to your little ones!

“Breastfed children are less likely to get sick with viral and intestinal infections”: an interview with the head of the department for newborns of the Tula Regional Perinatal Center

In the Tula region from 3 to 9 October is a week of support for breastfeeding, responsible attitude to reproductive health and pregnancy. In honor of this, we talked with Tatyana Frolova, head of the department for newborns of the Tula perinatal center. Various topics were raised during the conversation. For example, what is reproductive health and how to maintain it. They also found the answer why breastfeeding is important and necessary for both the baby and the mother. nine0003

- Let's start by explaining what is reproductive health? What are its components and characteristics?

- Reproductive health is the absence of diseases of the organs and systems responsible for the function of childbearing in both men and women. Reproductive health is influenced by several factors, the main of which include the state of physical and mental health, as well as the level of stress, nutrition, environment, and the level of sex education. nine0003

- What should women do to maintain their reproductive health?

- To maintain her reproductive health, every woman must follow a few basic rules: eat right, play sports, regularly visit an obstetrician-gynecologist (even if there are no complaints), plan pregnancy correctly.

- Now let's talk about breastfeeding. Talk about the benefits of breastfeeding for your baby. What is its importance and necessity? nine0092

- Breast milk was invented by nature in order to fully meet the needs of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins specifically for each child. Mother's breast milk is the best feeding option for the baby. Children who were breastfed by their mother for up to a year or more are more smiling, sociable, and make contact. Breast milk also contains a large amount of immunoglobulins - these are substances that protect the body. Breastfed babies are less likely to get viral and intestinal infections, in addition, such babies have fewer problems with colic, although this is a fairly common problem in children under one year old. In children who do not eat breast milk from a bottle, but suckle their breasts, a more regular bite and a symmetrically developed face. This is due to the fact that the baby, when feeding, uses all the muscles of the face. nine0003

- Why is breastfeeding good for the mother?

- Breastfeeding also affects the mother's condition: the risk of postpartum hemorrhage is reduced, and the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers is further reduced. In addition, breastfeeding helps reduce the risk of postpartum depression, as breastfeeding releases hormones that make the mother happy that she is breastfeeding and that she is a mother. It also reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis at an older age. nine0003

- Tatyana Alexandrovna, are there any cases when breastfeeding is absolutely contraindicated?

- There are few such cases. The main contraindications include HIV infection or AIDS in the mother, active forms of tuberculosis, as well as taking psychotropic substances, that is, if the woman has some kind of mental illness.

- When should I start breastfeeding? How often should I breastfeed my baby?

- Breastfeeding should begin as soon as possible after childbirth. In our perinatal center, breastfeeding begins immediately in the delivery room, as well as in the operating room, that is, as soon as the baby is born after a caesarean section, it is immediately applied to the mother's breast. Breastfeeding should be carried out at the request of the child, as often as he wants. As a sign - the baby begins to cry. The more often the baby is applied to the breast, the faster the milk comes and the feeding will be longer. nine0003

- How should a breastfeeding woman eat?

- Breastfeeding mothers should eat a balanced diet. There should be a sufficient amount of vegetables and fruits. You should avoid refined foods, fast food, semi-finished products, easily digestible carbohydrates - these are sweets, cookies. It is also necessary to reduce or completely abandon the use of alcohol.

- If you want to eat candy or cookies, then what to do?

- Dried fruits will be an alternative, and there are also healthy candies. nine0003

- What advice would you give to mothers on breastfeeding?

- Start breastfeeding as soon as possible. Also, do not be afraid to ask for help in the hospital, because many mothers think that they can handle it, but they do not always succeed. Try to apply to the breast as often as possible, do not use nipples or pacifiers. In addition, you should not supplement your baby with mixtures without any need.

- Why does milk disappear and what to do in such cases? nine0092

- Breast milk can be wasted for various reasons. For example, a child's side problem may arise when he is ill with something. Or, if it is a premature baby, underweight. Such a child cannot actively breastfeed. Because of this, lactation may decrease. There is also a problem on the part of the mother if she is not sure and feels that she will not succeed. Or, if a woman incorrectly puts the baby to her breast. In such cases, of course, feeding can come to naught.

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