Another Baby Barfer? Really?

I was afraid of this. Emmett is becoming a barfer. AARRRGGGGHHHH. Fia had the worst reflux. But I thought I dodged the bullet with Emmett. Reflux usually shows up around 2-3 weeks. Each week that passed with Emmett I felt more and more hopeful. I mean, he was a spitter. But not a barfer. There’s a difference.

Then, about 2 weeks ago, just shy of his 3 month birthday, more and more milk kept coming up. I knew I was in trouble when Cleo, our nanny, walked in with 3 changes of clothes. Damn.

Here is the weird thing. He only barfs up my breast milk. Not formula. Fia was the exact same way. I took her to 3 different pediatricians.  I even took a saturated barf cloth to one. “Here, feel this. This is from one feed!” I sobbed. We’re talking cups of barf. They all told me the same thing: since she was gaining weight, it wasn’t technically reflux. Therefore, they wouldn’t treat it as such. But wait, the reason she’s gaining is because I have to feed her all the time. She is also in terrible pain, constantly scrunching her body up. And all the barfing certainly can’t feel good on her throat.

Their stance was to keep her on the boob and deal with it. I’m still resentful.

I ordered some herbal concoction that–no kidding–was black as tar. It is supposed to help reflux. Um, okay, well, if it doesn’t, guess what you get? Black stains all over your furniture. Genius. That lasted all of one feed. I experimented with other things too, but I finally just gave up.

At 4 months, overwrought with lack of sleep and full of misery, I gave up breast feeding. I drove to the store and bought formula. It was an instant game-changer. I had a freezer full of breast milk that I would try to get down week after week. Same thing every time. Copious amounts of barf. I don’t think it was an allergy either. I had experimented with eliminating dairy, citrus, eggs–you name it–from my diet. Nothing worked. My mom said I was the same way.

With Emmett, I am determined to not give up breast feeding so early. I took him to our doctor here and explained what was happening. (I picked a specific doctor at the practice because she’s not old school like some of them.) After hearing my story, she theorized that maybe since breast milk isn’t as heavy as formula, both he and Fia needed something with more weight–or less acidic. It’s exactly what my mom and I had talked about 2 years before.

This pediatrician, unlike others I’ve had, prescribed Zantac. She also gave me some probiotics. Instead of discounting me, she listened. For that, I am incredibly grateful. She believes that it is worth staying on the boob with a little medicine rather than switching to formula. Or at least trying to see if it makes a difference. Whew.

We are on day 5 of Zantac and so far his spitting up has greatly diminished. I’m holding my breath and crossing my fingers. He also isn’t crunching up in pain as often. My goal is to boob feed him for at least 6 months, maybe a year. He’s my last baby. Plus, there are some major advantages (besides the medical aspect) to breastfeeding. I’ll save that for another blog.

I wrote earlier this week about trusting your mom instinct when it comes to studies and diagnoses and all that jazz. I’m glad I get a second chance on this one with my little guy.

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  1. by Dennisha Ware

    On May 4, 2012 at 11:11 am

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  2. by Amy

    On May 5, 2012 at 12:40 am

    My baby was a barfer too! She would full on puke cups of my breastmilk so that both her and I and the breastfeeding pillow were drenched. She refused bottles/formula so I felt I had no options and she never appeared to be in any pain, just would suddenly projectile vomit an incredible amount of milk and carry on smiling and cooing. She also gained weight slowly but steadily so no one was concerned. And to be honest due to the weight gain and the lack of apparent pain, I was only upset about it cuz it was hard to deal with getting puked on and having to feed her all over again. She grew out of it by around 5 months, as everyone said she would.

  3. by Jill Cordes

    On May 8, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Thanks guys. Amy–I’m determined to hang in there and if 5 months it lessens, then I can handle it. The zantac really does seem to be working so I’m hopeful.

  4. by Kelley

    On May 10, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    My three month is the same way!! She projectile vomits all day, but nobody seems concerned about it except me. My two other kids never had this problem, so I feel lost about what to do. I think she has acid reflux, but I don’t want to give her formula. It feels great hearing you have found something that is helping. I think I am going to bring this up with the pediatrician. To me it isn’t okay for a baby to constantly barf and want to eat every minute of the day. I know she is gaining weight, but I agree it is only because she nurses so frequently. Thank you. This blog has helped me : )

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