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Is it normal for babies to throw up this much if they don`t have reflux?

Hi, I am a first time Mum with a 6 month old baby girl who started spilling up/chucking a lot about a month ago, prior to that she hardly spilled up at all. She is formula fed, and is on the same formula she has always been on. I took her to the Dr but he didn`t think that she had reflux. She is normally a very happy baby even when she throws up, but she does it every feed and even several hours after a feed when it is slighly curdled, and sometimes there is quite a lot of it. She can get a little grizzly just before she throws up and arches her back, but once she has spilled she is happy again. She feeds well and sleeps well, although occasionally she will spill up in her sleep. I have tried to make sure I burp her well at every feed, but often she doesn`t bring up any wind no matter how long I try.

I have read the info on the RISA website, and she has some of the symptoms but not the worst ones. Is it normal for babies to throw up this much if they don`t have reflux? She has started teething and gets a bit grizzly with that also, but the Dr said that teething won`t make her throw up. I am not sure if I should take her to the Dr again as she is still putting on weight and for the most part is happy. Does this sound like reflux to you? Would appreciate your thoughts on this.
Thanks very much, Susan

Answer: Hi Susan, That is a difficult question. While it is good that she is putting on weight, and is mostly happy, I am really happy to hear that you have spoken to your doctor about your concerns. That is a very important first step. Did your doctor give you any explanation about why he/she didn’t think it was reflux? I am certainly not in a position to tell you whether it is reflux or not, but I do think it is important for a parent to trust their instincts. If you are not satisfied with what your doctor has said so far, then you should of course be able to discuss it further with them (and any time you have concerns). Perhaps it would help if you printed off the list of symptoms on our website to show to the doctor and discuss with him/her, particularly if you continue to suspect your baby may have reflux. (by the way, they do not have to have every sign listed there to have reflux). You may be able to talk about the signs/symptoms that your daughter displays, comparing them to the listed signs and symptoms – and if necessary, your doctor may also be able to give you an idea of what else it could be, and how to manage it. You may also like to consider keeping a written record of her days- including details of feeds, sleeps, behaviours (the vomiting, the irritability before she vomits, the back-arching), and anything else you feel is relevant. If you don’t feel your doctor understands what is happening, this can sometimes help. Interestingly, many parents of babies who have reflux notice that the reflux flares in circumstances such as teething, illness, vaccinations, being over-tired, constipation, or crawling (or learning to crawl). The babies can for example become a lot more irritable or start vomiting more around these times, or families may notice their eating and/or sleeping deteriorates. While reflux may not necessarily be an issue for your baby, I do believe it is important to keep looking for answers while you are concerned. I hope this information helps, and I hope you get the answers you need. Best regards, Glenda RISA Inc
Answered: 01 Jun 2009