May 23 2022

Tips to care for your child

What are regurgitation and vomiting?     

The first symptom refers to the non-forcible expulsion of stomach contents, while vomiting always carries a greater or lesser effort to expel the gastric contents. In the first case, the food seems to come from the child's mouth without apparent effort; sometimes it does in large quantities, testing the patience of caregiver, forcing a frequent change of clothes. Often you can see a similar case when it comes to vomiting.

About half the babies have any of these symptoms or both in combination, but less than one in 20 children with vomiting or regurgitation have an important disease. In the rest, the causes include usually a transitory gastroesophageal reflux of newborn (chalasia), an inadequate method to feed the baby, an inadequate response from mother to infant crying and other forms of an impaired mother-child relationship.

What are the causes of regurgitation?     

The regurgitation is usually a symptom of greater benignity than the vomiting. When there are no errors to feeding the baby and the child is developing normally, the regurgitation is almost always caused by a transient gastroesophageal reflux (chalasia), which usually disappears before the baby starts to walk.

This transient gastroesophageal reflux is due to the immaturity of the valve located between the stomach and esophagus (cardias), so that in proper conditions, once admitted to the stomach, the food does not can return to the mouth. The immaturity of the cardias allows that food have free passage for returning to the mouth since nothing prevents it to occur.

If the baby does not have a normal development of weight and height, he may be suffering a major disease, such as a urinary tract infection or in other location, an ulcerous disease (rarely), a metabolic or endocrinological disorder or another type of disease. If regurgitation is accompanied by choking baby may have a neuromuscular disease or another anatomical defect.

Whether seems that the baby is healthy and seems to develop normally, as if seems sick, it needs to be examined by a qualified pediatrician.

What are the causes of vomiting in the baby?     

If vomiting occurs suddenly in a baby who looks to be suffering an acute illness episode and that until then seemed to be healthy, the possible causes include acute gastroenteritis and other unrelated infections to the digestive tract, such as the nervous system (meningitis, for example) and other rare processes such as endocrine or metabolic diseases such as adrenogenital syndrome and inborn errors of metabolism, hydrocephalus and other conditions that increase pressure inside the skull.

In those cases where the infant is vomiting but does not appear to be sick, the possible causes include poor feeding techniques, among which the most common is the overfeeding of the baby. Other important causes of vomiting are the inadequate position of both (baby and mother) when administering the food, lack of outgassing during and after feeding, force-feed the baby as a means to silence her crying (though not related to hunger) and various problems of psychological or social.

Vomiting that occurs during the first days of life and has an explosive nature may be due to hypertrophic pyloric stenosis. In this case, the baby may seem to expel more of what you eat, which makes avidly, both due to hunger and thirst caused by loss of stomach contents.

Sometimes, an exaggerated gastroesophageal reflux can lead to repeated vomiting more than regurgitation. However, in a child who is apparently well, but vomits often beyond the first few months or it does when changing body position or pressing the abdomen gently, should probably be studied to rule out a hernia of esophageal hiatus.

Some babies have vomiting or regurgitation associated with prolonged diarrhea in the case of digestive intolerance caused by transient lactase deficiency or intolerance or allergy to cow's milk protein.

In children who appear to be ill or very ill, vomiting can be caused by diseases of major importance, such as bowel obstruction.

In either case, the only reasonable measure is to consult as soon as possible with the doctor treating your child, avoiding taking action on your own risk.