Both my boys were big spitters as babies, as in they spit up a LOT. I'm talking multiple outfits for them and me every day for months and months. Last week, Charlotte started spitting up quite a bit, too. I knew that if a breastfed baby's mother drinks cow's milk it can cause spitting up, so I traded my lactose free milk for soy (blek!) to see if there was a difference. None. I'd already pretty much cut out caffeine, so that wasn't the culprit either. Then after Charlotte's first major projectile spit up (it was like my baby was a tiny geyser), I did a little research and I think I've got it figured out: I have an overabundant milk supply.
Some signs of hyperlactation include baby coughing and gagging during feedings (check), early/forceful letdown [when the milk sprays] (check), baby pulling off before finished feeding (check), spitting up often (check), making a clicking sound when nursing (check), and baby gaining more weight than average (check). Simon and Jonas didn't show as many signs as Charlotte does, but they (and I) did show some. I mean, they were both huge babies! Plus, I can just tell that I've been very full. Another issue that can go along with this is the mother getting mastitis, which I had with Jonas. It was miserable! It's like having the boob flu! (Really, it is.)
Thankfully, the first possible solution for my overactive milk-makers I read and tried seems to be working. Instead of nursing on both sides each feeding, I do one side per feeding. This will ensure that Charlotte is getting a good combination of foremilk and hindmilk. Too much foremilk can can cause gassiness and spitup and make the baby not feel as full. So, by switching sides too soon so that I'd get both sides (somewhat) emptied (because I'm paranoid about getting mastitis again), Chalotte was just getting a bunch of foremilk, taking in too much, getting gassy & uncomfortable and then spitting up. Plus, the milk was coming out forcefully causing her to cough and gag.
This is day 3 of the one side per feeding and Charlotte has virtually stopped spitting up! I mean, she might spit up a tad with a burp, but it's just a tiny bit and doesn't drench her clothes and mine. She's much more content, too! I thought it would be somewhere between annoying and painful to do the whole one side per feeding thing, like my milk-makers would asplode or something, but my body's adjusted quite well.
And when this little thing is happy, the rest of us are happier, too!
Just a side note, I find it interesting that being lactose intolerant, my body makes a substance that it cannot digest.