The distended belly of a baby does look adorable sometimes, doesn't it, Bun. However, not a few parents feel anxious when they see their baby's stomach like that. Actually, is a distended baby's stomach a normal condition?
Just like adults, baby's stomach can also be distended or enlarged. However, a distended stomach in babies is not caused by fat accumulation due to excessive consumption of calorie or sweet foods. There are several other things that can cause a baby's tummy to look distended.
Distended Stomach in Babies Who Are Classified as Normal
If you find your little one's stomach growing, don't worry, okay? At the age of 1-4 months, a distended stomach in babies is normal and nothing to worry about. Usually, this condition is caused by too much gas in the stomach.
Accumulation of gas can occur because the baby swallows air while crying or suckling in an inappropriate position. In addition, at that age the baby's digestive system is not yet fully developed, so it is not able to process food, feces, or gas properly.
A distended baby's stomach can also be caused by fullness after feeding. You don't need to worry about this, either. Generally, the shape of your little one's stomach will immediately return to its original size after urinating or defecating.
To comfort your little one, help him burp after feeding. Mother can also lay her body down, move her legs like pedaling a bicycle, and bathe her in warm water so that her stomach does not bloat and returns to its original size.
In addition, so that your little one does not swallow a lot of air when feeding, try a breastfeeding position that places the baby's head slightly upright, so that milk can flow smoothly into his stomach.
If your little one is bottle-feeding, make sure you choose a pacifier that fits the size of his mouth to prevent your little one from swallowing a lot of air.
Distended Baby Stomach Conditions that Need to be Watched
Although most babies have a distended stomach, this is normal, mothers still need to be vigilant, because this condition can also be a sign of a health problem.
The first possibility of a distended baby's stomach is a milk allergy or lactose intolerance to formula milk. In addition to a distended stomach, these two conditions can also cause symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, blood in the stool, diarrhea, and fussiness.
In addition, a distended stomach can also be a sign that the baby has necrotizing enterocolitis, which is inflammation of the small intestine or large intestine. This health problem is generally experienced by babies born prematurely.
Symptoms that can occur include fatigue and inactivity, vomiting, diarrhea, or bloody stools. If not treated immediately, necrotizing enterocolitis can damage intestinal tissue and cause death.
A distended baby's stomach is still said to be normal if it only occurs temporarily and is not accompanied by other symptoms. If that's the case, you can apply the methods above to restore the size of your little one's stomach and prevent it from becoming distended again.
However, if your little one's stomach is growing and accompanied by worrying symptoms, don't delay taking action. Immediately take your little one to the doctor for proper examination and treatment.