Gastroesophageal reflux—or when acidic stomach juices, or food and fluids move back up to the esophagus—is common and normal among infants. In fact, it is so common that parents mostly know it by a different name: spitting up. “When babies spit up and then smile afterwards, we call them ‘happy spitters,’” says Yale Medicine's Anthony Porto, MD, MPH. “We’re more worried about it than they are.”
But when repeated regurgitation begins to cause an infant pain with feeding, then doctors and parents should think about treating this condition. At Yale Medicine, our unique Pediatric Aerodigestive Disorders Program includes not pediatric gastroenterologists, but also other pediatric specialists, including ear-nose-and-throat surgeons, pulmonologists, and nutritionists. We work as a team to evaluate, treat and coordinate treatment plans.