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A Vomiting Three Week Old

What's Your Diagnosis?


Updated November 16, 2003

You're a little worried about your newborn baby. He was born full-term and had been breastfeeding and gaining weight well. He was exposed to an uncle with pertussis (whooping cough) and so had been placed on the antibiotic erythromycin as a preventative measure, but had otherwise seemed fine.

For the past few days, he has been spitting up after his feedings. Although this is your first baby, you had worked in a daycare and so had seen a lot of kids spitting up. Your baby's spitting up seems a little more forceful, almost going across the room, and that is why you are worried.

You go to see your Pediatrician, who isn't too worried because he isn't vomiting after every feeding and he hasn't lost any weight. He suggests stopping breastfeeding and giving him an elemental formula, like Nutramigen or Alimentum, instead. He also thinks that your baby may have an upset stomach because of the erythromycin he had been taking, and so also prescribes Zantac.

You are reassured that he hasn't lost weight, but decide that stopping breastfeeding is a bad idea and so you continue.

Over the next few days, the vomiting increases, occuring right after or within 30 minutes of a feeding. The Zantac does not seem to be working and you are also concerned because he does not seem to be having as many wet diapers as he used to and he is sleeping more.

In your Pediatrician's office, they note that he has lost 1/2 pound, but they don't share your concern. Since he drinks a few ounces of Pedialyte in the office, the Pediatrician feels that the problem is a milk intolerance and that you should stop breastfeeding. He explains that the weight loss is probably because he was weighed on a different scale and that you aren't noticing wet diapers because today's diapers are so super-absorbent.

You are far from reassured now and your Pediatricians 'advice' doesn't make sense to you. Afterall, you are using the same diapers you had been using all along and if they were so super-absorbent, how come they felt soaking wet before?

You are even more concerned because your husband had something similar happen to him as a baby and he needed emergency surgery to fix it.

You decide to go to the emergency room at your local Children's Hosptial for a second opinion.

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