My baby was hospitalised due to stomach flu (gastroenteritis)

[By Big C]

Throw back to June 2016… He caught the bug from me… I had just recovered from a bout a couple days before he started developing the symptoms… Sorry Small E!

hospitalised from stomach flu

It happened out of a sudden. Small E started puking like merlion after every feed. He would finish a feed either via latch or bottle. He didn’t look unwell and he finished every feed like normal. But 5 minutes after each feed, he would puke like merlion before dozing off.

He didn’t fuss nor cry but he would ask to feed shortly since everything came out. After the 5th puke, he started looking tired and lethargic so I decided to bring him to KK Hospital before he gets even more sick.

Thankfully we were at in laws’ place and Big E was asleep. We got my mother-in-law to look after Big E before rushing off.

Based on my experience with Big E who also had a similar bout when she was younger, I know that I should apply interval feeding (i.e small volume of milk / water by interval and increasing it part by part till child is able to take in the usual volume without vomiting).

But Small E, being only 8 months old, lives solely on milk and I find it really difficult to apply this tactic. And he kept vomiting everything out in full so I was worried that he is getting dehydrated.

When we arrived at KK Hospital, doctor did a quick test for dehydration. The device gave an immediate result and indeed he was mildly dehydrated. He was to be warded and put on drip for observation.

What follows is the nightmare of all parents – inserting the plug!

I had to hand him over to the doctors and nurses who place him on the bed in observation area. Naturally he was afraid and starting crying abit. The curtain is pulled and we were told to wait behind it.

My hubby was so anxious and wanted to demand to be inside to hold Small E’s hand. I told him not to be a hindrance to the doc and we should let her finish the job asap to reduce the discomfort for Small E.

We waited anxiously and I peeped through the gap. I saw them wrap a blanket around him and his arm to hold him down. I was surprised but impressed as this would definitely be more stable and less hurting to Small E.

The process was fast though it felt like ages. Once it was done, we quickly pick him up and he calmed down quite immediately!

Tupperware twinkle tup banner

When deciding which ward to choose, I realised I haven’t add Small E into our Aviva’s free child coverage plan! I was worried about the cost so we decided to go for C ward (subsidised).

Small E and I were “assigned” a cot bed and a foldable bed. The cot was kind of old-school and actually I find it pretty difficult to adjust the rail. But Small E slept well in it. He had to be on drip 24/7 so I was “stuck” next to the cot. During the day, we are not allowed to open the foldable bed so I could only stand and play with him or carry him to walk around the cot else take a sit on the chair.

We didn’t have time to pack much stuff and hubby needed to be back home to care for Big E. But we didn’t need much anyway since diapers and wipes were provided.  Thankfully I was still breastfeeding and could latch him on-demand. The hospital also provided me with the Medela pump (without charge) which was amazingly good! I only needed to pay for the disposable parts and bottles.

There was a pantry where hot water dispenser and a Pigeon steam sterilizer was available for my use. The nurses also gave me a set of pre-printed name labels (which is actually the patient label with Small E’s name and details) so I only needed to paste it on the bottle and pass to them for safekeeping in the fridge.

Thankfully, Small E stopped vomiting and slept well. I tried to sleep too on the foldable bed but it was low and all I can see was under the cot bed. I didn’t feel safe enough to doze off, worrying that Small E will wake anytime.

Morning came and we were told to keep the foldable bed by 7am (aww…) and  (double awww…) I forgot to keep my wallet with me and hubby went off to work after sending Big E to childcare. I had to wait for my mum who said she would drop by in the afternoon.

So I had to steal bites from Small E’s food! Hahaha.. It was actually quite tough… because of the drip, we were literally “chained” to the bed. So I couldn’t bring him around and had to wait for him to sleep tight before sneaking off to pee!

After 2 days on drip, no more vomiting and diarhoea, a puffy looking Small E was ready to be discharged.

It felt like he came in for a staycation because other than having to “suffer” the pain of the plug, he was pretty happy! Maybe because he had exclusive time with mummy!

We are very happy to know that he came out of this safe and sound.

Comment below or email me if you have any questions about the symptoms and our experience in the hospital. 

Some pointers on gastroenteritis in babies… 

  • It is actually very common and harmless. The complication comes from the risk of dehydration so take careful note of the amount of fluid in and out of your little one.
  • There is no need to stop breastfeeding and in fact breast milk is the best fluid replacement so do continue to breastfeed your baby at short but frequent intervals.
  • Diarrhoea may follow after vomiting as the bug travels down the gut. Do not be alarmed but similarly, observe the output and ensure baby gets hydrated.
  • Stomach bug is very contagious and it is found in the vomit and stool of infected baby so do clean up the surfaces and your hands thoroughly, especially if you have younger / older kids at home.
  • Be sure to vaccine your little one against rotavirus (to be taken orally before 4 months) which can cause severe gastroenteritis.

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