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Could my 4 month old v sicky son still have an under-developed stomach valve?

(11 Posts)
Minnie2009 Wed 19-Aug-09 12:48:11

I was wondering if anyone might have some advice pleeeease! My 4 month and old is still as sicky sicky sicky as ever after every breastfeed.

I was given Infant Gaviscon for him when he was 6 weeks old but gave up on it as he absolutely raged when we tried to administer it. (I have always breastfed him and tried all sorts of ways to give it him after numerous tips from HV, friends, GP, etc. He just hated the taste. I tried giving it him in a bit of formula as well as expressed milk and a pippet while b/feeding. No joy.)

Anyroad, I realised he probably didn't have reflux after all, as he isn't in any pain at all when he vomits; there's no acid being brought up from his stomach.

HV believes (and am sure she's right) that it's an under-developed stomach valve/sphincter that's causing this.

He is sick countless (really, COUNTLESS) times from the moment I've fed him to three or four hours later each and every feeding cycle. He doesn't seem to mind at all, which is great, but I've given up wearing skirts or trousers when home - for obvious reasons. Obviously, he is bibbed up from dawn till dusk and muslins are his constant companions.

He doesn't projectile vomit; it's just a lot of it at any given moment, regardless of the activitie we are enjoying or the amount of body movement he is experiencing. Bless him . . .

I tried giving him way smaller feeds at shorter intervals (on demand) to no avail.

HV also mentioned a couple of times that he may be lactose intolerant, so I have lactose-free milk. I also cut out spicy food sad when he was a couple of weeks old, and I rarely have caffeinated drinks.

He's a really happy baby all in all, thankfully, but I am wondering whether I shouldn't wean him until he's stopped being so sick. However, if he's still being so sick after 6 months I want to start the weaning process, of course. He's already shown signs of wanting to join in with eating and drinking, but I am defo holding off for the time being.

In summary, my call for help/questions (sorry I've got so many and I am so so grateful for any replies to just one of them) are:

Just because he pukes up now, does that mean solids will have the same effect when the weaning process begins?

If he does have a lactose intolerance, what's going to happen when he starts having follow-on milk? Yikes and double yikes. I am aware follow-on milk is necessary up to one year when I start him at nursery when I return to work in Feb '10. I cannot see me breastfeeding up till then. Do you know, please, if there any lactose-free follow-on milk available?

How long might this last if the cause IS an under-developed sphincter?

At what point might I maybe find out if this is something else and not an under-developed tummy valve?

Oh, how I long for a day when mummy and baby can have a dress 'up' day indoors that is 'tummy milk'-free!!!

Thank you so much for any responses to the above and thank you for reading grin.

mumtoem Wed 19-Aug-09 13:14:46

Your DS might have reflux - he could be what is known as a "happy chucker" - no pain but plenty of vomit. AFAIK the valve is often the cause of reflux. There is a lot of useful information at

Lactose intolerance is very rare. It is more common for this to happen after a gastric bug and then it only lasts a couple of months. Intolerance to cows milk protein is more common. There are special formulas that have the protein broken down more that can help. They are available on prescription. You could also try a comfort milk, like Aptamil easy digest, these are partly broken down and thicker than normal formula, so should be harder to bring back up.

Weaning can actually improve things in some babies (solid food, like thicker formula tends to stay down). My DD has quite bad reflux and I had to wean her at only 4 months and it did help her. However I think it is better to get medical advice before weaning early.

It is not necessary to switch to follow-on milk at any time. Stage 1 milk can be used, along with food from 6 months.

Many babies with reflux grow out of it by six months and nearly all by 12 months. My DD is 16 months and still has it. We have a paediatrician appointment in October and if she is still clearly having problems then he will start further investigations to find out what is wrong.

Have you seen your GP about this? It is great that your DS is happy and not in pain, but I really think it is worth getting medical advice and possibly prescription formula.

Minnie2009 Wed 19-Aug-09 13:19:55

Thanks a lot, Mumtoem. I will definitely go to my GP if my DS is still so very sicky after the weaning process has been under way for a while. Lots of really useful info here. smile

nigglewiggle Wed 19-Aug-09 13:28:41

My DD1 was very sicky and just as you describe, not in any apparent pain. Her weight-gain was fine, so no-one seemed to be bothered apart from me. I remember the constant muslin on the shoulder look well!

I was told it would improve when she was weaned. The advice then was to wean from 4 months and I reckon it was another couple of months before things started to get better. I remember lots of carrot and sweet potato stains!

The good news is that once it started to improve she very quickly stopped being sick altogether. I can remember the joy of her being able to wear the same outfit two days in a row.

I hope things improve for you soon I know how hard it is. smile

Minnie2009 Wed 19-Aug-09 13:33:46

Thanks very much, nigglewiggle. Well, I won't put off weaning then and start once DS is clearly enthusiastic for a taste of something else big time! I know there's light at the end of the tunnel, as it were, and it's good to know that weaning at the appropriate time isn't a no-no!

MegBusset Wed 19-Aug-09 13:38:41

DS1 was like this too. It definitely improved very quickly once he started solids at 6mo.

philmassive Wed 19-Aug-09 13:53:20

This was my DS1 to a tee. He was solely breastfed to 6 months and was sick each and every time he was fed, often more than once, and it seemed like a lot. He was my first and I (naively I now see) put it down to possetting. He gained weight steadily and was happy and healthy in every other way.

When I came to wean him he had an extremely violent reaction (swelling of the head and neck) on his first spoonful of fromage frais. Luckily no ill effects after some antihistamines but to cut a long story short, it was a milk allergy.

I continued to breast feed him until he was 2.5 and used soya formula (wysoy) for things like cereals between about 8-12 months, then onto soya milk from the chilled cabinet once he was 1. I have since learnt that you can get soya formula on prescription in this scenario, but if I were you I'd try not to rely totally on soya formula as they're not great for your child.

I would really urge you to continue to breastfeed as long as you can if your DS turns out to have the same. That way you know that you're giving him some useful antibodies etc. I hold up my hand and say that I am strongly pro-breastfeeding and anti formula feeding.

I was lucky that my job at the time (I worked 3 days per week) was fantastic and allowed my to express milk twice a day for him to be given whilst I wasn't there. This is a legal right - your work HAS to have this facility in place - and I don't mean going in the loos to do it!

Good news - he is now 6 and has grown out of the dairy allergy - so don't despair if this is what it turns out to be.

If I can help at all please feel free to CAT me. And good luck!

wearymum200 Wed 19-Aug-09 21:41:07

Some children are just pukers, I think. If weight gain is fine and baby happy, just invest in lots of muslins and resign yourself to a lot of washing. i ahve 2 DC and both are pukers. Both breastfed to 5 months when weaned, DS finally gave up puking at about 9m, DD at 8m is still getting through 5/6 bibs a day at least. Not sure that weaning has really made a diffeernece, except that the puke is more exotic colours now... (oh and banana puke is just the most disgusting!)

IlanaK Wed 19-Aug-09 21:49:56

I have had three like this. The expression used is that it is a laundry problem, not a medical problem. All were breastfed - the first was weaned onto solids at 4 months (as that was the recommendations then) and the sick just got thicker. My second was weaned onto solids (purees) at 6 months and things improved a little. My third was also weaned onto solids at 6 months, but in a different way - we did BLW. For him, the puking stopped then.

In hindsight, I do think dairy intolerance played a part - but not to lactose (as said, that is very rare), but to the protein in dairy. With ds3 I ended up cutting out all dairy from my own diet until he was about 6 months old and he was generally a happier baby. We certainly noticed that if I ate something he disagreed with (usually dairy related), he was more sick.

Reallytired Wed 19-Aug-09 22:39:06

My son was a very sicky baby. It improved when he learnt to sit up. Prehaps its worth trying to get a bumbo second hand so you can sit your son up with support after feeds.

Or get a cloth chair that you can sit your son in when he is tired.

MollieO Wed 19-Aug-09 22:54:22

You could ask the GP whether it is pyloric stenosis.

Ds was suspected of having this as he vomited after every feed and projectile vomited several times a day. In the end he was weaned early in the hope it would help(it didn't). He eventually grew out of it. He was never in pain (unlike when he had gastro-enteritis at 2 weeks).

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