Baby Hiccup | Facts About Babies

The question of, “Why does my baby hiccup so often?” is quite common for both pregnant women and of course, new moms.  Most are concerned that the hiccups are causing pain to their baby but most often, they are more bothersome to the mother than to the baby.

Pregnancy

Many pregnant women will feel their baby hiccup while they are in the womb and of course, wonder what is causing such a disturbance.  Often, they will begin during the first trimester; however, most women will not actually feel the baby hiccup until much later in the pregnancy.

The exact cause of this is unknown but there are many specialists that believe that these hiccups are performed as a way to strengthen the baby’s diaphragm muscle to help breathing not only in the womb but also after birth.  There are numerous reported cases where the mother-to-be actually feels the baby hiccup at the exact same time everyday as if it is the baby’s daily routine.

These daily hiccups are also detected during ultrasounds performed by the doctor at routine office visits.  Once the women are rest assured that the hiccup routine is not harming their baby then they usually look forward to it, similar to getting excited over the baby kicking.

Hiccups After Birth

If you feel your baby hiccup often prior to birth then it is quite safe to say this will continue after they as well.  They can even begin the very day your baby is born but they are believed to not cause any pain nor should they be a cause for concern.

The diaphragm muscles contract when you hear your baby hiccup, which is causing them to take short quick breaths.  Generally they will just go away in a few minutes but if they really bother you then you may want to consider burping your baby more frequently during feedings.

Curing Hiccups

Many babies are just prone to swallowing too much air either when they nurse or are drinking formula.  When too much air is swallowed it will cause hiccups.  Many mothers feel a great deal of anxiety when they hear their baby hiccup but most often, gentle pats will help to bring the air up which will stop them.

You may also want to check the nipple.  Babies can swallow excess air if the hole that is in the nipple to the formula bottle is the wrong size.  You can check this by turning the bottle upside down.  Ideally there will be a few drips of formula that come out and then it should stop.  If there is no dripping at all or a free flow of formula then the hole is the wrong size.

Also, many women will delay feeding if they hear their baby hiccup which is absolutely not necessary.  The hiccups will not interfere at all with your baby feeding and in many cases it will actually help them to go away.  However, you do not want to overdo feeding either.  Do not think that just because you hear your baby hiccup you should reach for a bottle to help cure them.  If you ever feel as though you may be overfeeding your baby, try only feeding on demand instead of your created schedule and never push your baby to eat more because you assume he is still hungry.

In most cases, hiccups are not a cause of concern and will usually go away in a short amount of time but there are some babies that will have the hiccups for hours and even days at a time.  If your baby is experiencing extended hiccup episodes and you feel there is a cause for concern then you most definitely should discuss this with your pediatrician.

Jessica

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