Physiological reflux – Exactly what is it?
If you've ever wondered what is reflux, it is basically when things go in the wrong direction within a valve. Therefore, it is possible for reflux to happen in many thing from your stomach and kidneys to even your car engine! If a baby has stomach reflux, this essentially means that they things that are inside of their stomach such as stomach acid and milk are coming up into the oesophagus. This is not only uncomfortable for babies but also for grown adults. Unfortunately, many babies experience this even if they are healthy simply because their digestive systems are young and newly formed.
How common is it for babies to experience physiological reflux?
This is an extremely common condition and affects at least half of the babies within the United Kingdom. This may happen at any point during the day, multiple times for the day or just once per day. The actual amount of stomach acid and milk that comes back up also varies where it can be a little bit or a lot. This is normal and most babies have no problems with doing so. Approximately 50% of babies that are up to 3 months old will have reflux a minimum of once per day. This usually stops when the baby reaches 12 months.
Projectile vomiting vs physiological reflux
There is a significant difference between these two where the projectile vomiting is cause for more concern. There are parents who worry when their baby spits up a lot of milk at a rapid pace because they mistakenly think it is projectile vomiting. This is not the case because projectile vomiting is where the vomit is literally fired like a missile across the space. This will be done at a high speed which will significantly upset the baby and make them feel and act quite distressed.
In the event that your baby or the baby you're taking care of is experiencing projectile vomiting, then you need to take them to a doctor as soon as possible. However, if your baby has general spit up/reflux and is generally happy while gaining weight, then you have nothing to worry about. The only thing you'll have to deal with is loads of laundry and a lot of cleaning up!