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Baby throws head back and arches back since a month causing discomfort. Remedy?

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Practicing since : 1998
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five month old baby throws her head back and arches her back. Has been doing this for a month or so, It's getting hard to hold her when this happens.
Posted Fri, 17 May 2013 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Y V Siva Sankara Murty 1 hour later

Thanks for writing to health care magic.

Is the baby conscious during the episode?

Is there any abnormal movement of the body during the episode?

Was your baby in the NICU (Neonatal intensive care unit) after birth for any reason?

Did your baby cry soon after birth?

Is there any history of neonatal jaundice?

Does your baby throw up frequently?

Arching of the back could be because of frequent causes.

One is it could be because of GERD (reflux problem) which causes pain. The content of the stomach get back into the esophagus causing pain and burning sensation (because of the acidic content).
Such baby throws up frequently.
Proper burping, head up position etc will help if this is diagnosed as the cause.
Medications like proton pump inhibitors will be prescribed by your doctor after confirming the diagnosis.

The other rare cause could be seizure.
There may be history of birth asphyxia or NICU admission etc.
Baby may be unconscious during the episode.

I request you to answer my questions so that I can answer your query better.
Take care.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Baby throws head back and arches back since a month causing discomfort. Remedy? 2 hours later
the baby was two weeks premature, C section and I don't know if she cried right away. I am the grandmother and not in the room. She did have jaundice for 2-3 weeks. Does not spit up all frequently and wants to eat frequently but not for very long. Had trouble nursing to start with. Does take some formula. Hard to burp, takes hours to get her to sleep during day or night and will wake up frequently. Will fall asleep in car but wakes easily when moved. Wants to sleep being held.
Answered by Dr. Y V Siva Sankara Murty 4 hours later

Thanks for your reply.

First seizures should be ruled out in your baby. If seizures are ruled out we should rule out GERD. This is a common cause cause of such abnormal posturing. Certain investigations like lower esophageal Ph monitoring etc may be required after examination by your doctor.

If both these are ruled out and baby is active, playful and growing normally it could be considered as normal.

Hope this helps.
Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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