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Does your newborn have reflux? This is why you probably don’t need to worry

Newborn babies vomit a lot; usually after eating. The reason is often due to a condition called reflux. This is when fluid flows up from the stomach into the food pipe or esophagus.

You are probably familiar with how newborn babies vomit after eating – often when they are burping. The burp cloth is usually required a lot during the first year of the baby’s life, and it’s no mystery – the reason is an inner organ that hasn’t yet developed properly.

Less reflux when the baby grows

Reflux and vomiting happen because the baby’s food pipe has not yet fully developed. In many cases this stops when the baby is around 12 months.

The problem normally gets better as the food pipe develops, and also because the child will start eating more solid food.

When the food pipe has developed properly, the child might still vomit, but the reason will be slightly different.

But if you still feel worried you can contact your healthcare contact for medical advice.

The vomiting has not stopped? This might be why

Sometimes vomiting doesn’t stop even though the little one is older than 12 months. If this is the case with your baby, you should see a health professional to exclude things like:

  • Illnesses in the food pipe or stomach
  • Constipation
  • Food allergy
  • Cyclic vomiting
  • Appendicitis or obstruction in the stomach
  • Diabetes type 1
  • Migraine
  • Concussion
  • Meningitis
  • Brain tumour

A muscle weakness might be the reason

If the reflux doesn’t get better when the child gets older, it can also be due to something called a hiatal hernia. This is common in adults, and less common among children.

Hiatal hernia is a weakness in the inner muscles – the diaphragm –  just above the tummy. This allows the upper part of the stomach to intrude into the chest cavity, which in turn allows stomach acid to flow into the food pipe and up into the mouth.

This is called reflux.

Reflux from muscle weakness can be treated with IQoro

If your child has a hiatal hernia it can be treated with IQoro – a clinical training device used to exercise the inner muscles – from the diaphragm and up to your mouth.

IQoro is available in both adult and children’s size. It can be used by children 1 year and older.

When do I need to worry?

If the baby is ill as a result of reflux or when the mucous membrane in the food pipe is damaged, it’s called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD, or GORD). This is considered a disease and it’s different from the normal reflux described earlier in this article.

If you suspect reflux disease you should seek medical help.

These symptoms are also a sign your baby might need medical assistance:

  • Vomit is either green or yellow
  • Blood in the vomit
  • Vomiting intensely – more than usual
  • Blood in the stool
  • Tender or swollen abdomen
  • High fever or feeling hot or shivery
  • Is sick continuously for an extended time, and is vomiting
  • Is visibly dehydrated and has had diarrhoea for more than a week
  • Doesn´t want to eat

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