Does anyone else's infant eat...and eat...and EAT until he/she spits up?

Erica - posted on 01/13/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My daughter was a preemie. She was born 10 weeks early and spent 6 weeks in the NICU, where she received BM w/ fortifier.
I was scared she would never learn how to nurse well!
Now...she is 14 weeks, home for 8 weeks, and since she came home, ALL SHE WANTS TO DO IS NURSE.
This baby will nurse until she throws up!
Of course, I try other ways of entertaining/comforting, but it always comes back to the breast. And of course I don't ever want to take away her food supply, she still has to gain LOTS of catch-up weight.
But...is this normal? I don't remember this with my first (full term).

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Jenna - posted on 01/13/2009

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My lil guy was 8 days late and a healthy 8 lbs at birth. He has been exclusively breastfed since birth. He is 14 weeks old now. Until 10 weeks he seemed to eat forever and gained weight like crazy. He was diagnosed by a MD who specializes in lactation as actually overeating. He would spit up quite often but not usually in alarmingly huge amounts. So it didn't seem concerning. I just figured it was a growth spurt, or he was just a hungry boy. I was only at this MD for a consult for other BFing problems(bad latch due to overbite). Anyways my lil guy would eat until he puked literally....on my nipple then latch back on himself ontop of the puke. It was quite digusting.  I've heard often if a baby's tummy hurts they automatically act hungry because that's all they know to do. I think is true with my son as he often has gas issues. The only thing that changed for me at 10 week turning point was to correct my latch and if he pulls off more than a couple times I don't put him back on (he'd pull off a zillion times before just to want back on) he'll burp and then his tummy doesn't hurt anymore. Does that make sense? Sorry it's late here and I'm just not tired...lol! My son still overeats on occasion and throws up but not often like previously.  I tried using a pacifier too since my son seems to just want to suck sometimes. I know there are different theories on whether or not pacifier use interfers with weight gain and nursing.  In my case it has had no negative effect on either. Such may be a different case for you since you have such a lil one! Good luck! Good for you for BFing with your preemie, it must've been very difficult.

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I would honestly talk to your ped about this. My son had similar troubles. He would eat and eat and eat and then empty everything out on to me, before demanding more. He wasn't a preemie though, he was a day late, and over 10 pounds!



My ped said that this amount of spit up was common, and that the vomiting will decrease as he gets older. And that's true that it did. However, he was put on an infant version of Zantac which helped us out tremendously. Now at almost 7 and a half months, it's a very rare occurance for him to vomit anymore! So my best advice would be to ask about your options with your baby's doctor - it's what they are there for! :)

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Ashley - posted on 01/14/2009

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My daughter did this also and it scared the crap out of me cause it seemed like she was throwing up so much for such a tiny baby! But they say as long as it isn't projectile vomiting its fairly common! Also just watch her diapers making sure she is wetting enough and having enough dirty diapers! Thats a good indicator! Also if you are really concerned go in and have her weighed cause then you will definately know! But they also say to try nursing her in more of an upright position that can help as well too! But also the burping suggestion is another good one because if you think of it this way if they need to burp and they dont get to the milk just will sit on top of that and when the burp finally does come up the food that got piled on top of it comes with it! If that makes sense! Good luck!!!

Erica - posted on 01/14/2009

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What am I doing, I put healthy instead of helpful. Should read, You were all extremely helpful. Mommy mind, sorry.

Erica - posted on 01/14/2009

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Thanks very much! You were all extremely healthy. Yes, I talked with her doctor, but with a preemie all you ever get is, "well, she IS a preemie..." for every issue you may encounter. She probably has some degree of reflux (after all, she IS a preemie lol see what I mean?) ...she doesn't even spit up all the time, or in huge amounts...I thought maybe she was nursing for comfort or I was overfeeding her or something. I now have even more to be concerned about because I didn't know you could have a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance...one thing I may try doing is pumping a little first, because I noticed she throws up most if she goes about nursing very vigorously at first...Anyway, I think I will bypass the doctor route since I already tried that and go straight to a lactation counselor. Or wait a little while for her to outgrow it. After all, she doesn't seem to mind at all.
Thanks so much, I feel much consoled.

Holly - posted on 01/13/2009

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Mine was like that, though not a preemie. Turned out I had oversupply with foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. He was getting mostly foremilk, so did not feel satisfied and kept eating and eating until throwing up. Once I got my supply under control (with block feeding) he was much better. It actually turned out that he didn't even nurse for comfort very often after that - very efficient for hunger and then back to playtime!

One other thing that comes to mind of course is reflux. Are you burping her frequently, and keeping her upright in between feedings, as in a tummy to tummy position in a sling or wrap? This might help too.

It might just be because she was a preemie, maybe her esophagus is just weak?

Good luck - I hope you figure it out, but I do think you should keep nursing on demand! Way to go for getting her to the breast after such a challenge!

Jennifer - posted on 01/13/2009

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My son was SO the same way. I just had to pace him. Yeah, it extended the nursing time but it was well worth it to keep everything down. He was a born a strong sucker and could down everything before he realized howfull he was. He's 19 months old now and I still have to make sure I don't give him too much drink at once cuz he will still finish it all and spew a tiny bit if it's too much =^)



Try pacing her (take her off every 5 minutes and burp her, give her a sec then pick up where you left off) and see if that helps.

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