If you are expecting, it is perfectly natural to feel some anxiety about motherhood, especially if this is your first child. There’s a lot to learn, including that hiccups are not exclusive to grown-ups. Babies commonly suffer from hiccups, mainly in the first 12 months of life outside the womb, and it is usually nothing to be alarmed about. Below, let’s take a deeper look at baby hiccups.
Hiccups in the womb
It is not uncommon for a woman to have hiccups in the womb third trimester, which can be a bit startling when it first happens. The medical profession is somewhat in the dark regarding baby hiccups in the womb, but much like regular hiccups, it doesn’t last long.
If it persists during the 3rd trimester or before that, mention it to your midwife or doctor. Be sure to tell them about it if you have concerns. This article does not replace medical advice.
Newborns and hiccups
The primary reason breastfed babies get hiccups is gulping down air while feeding. There are effective newborn baby burping techniques that can be helpful. Some babies seem to always be in hiccup mode, and there could be several reasons for it, including:
- Gulping air when feeding
- Sudden change in temperature
- GERD – Gastroesophageal reflux disease is when partially digested food is pushed back through the esophagus.
Common signs of GERD other than hiccups include crying, coughing, spitting up, and arching the back. See your doctor if you think your baby has it for a physical exam. While there is information online, seeking the help of a medical professional in person, if possible, is the best.
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Symptoms to watch for
If your baby hiccups frequently, look for any of the following concerning signs:
- Projectile vomiting
- Bringing up brown or yellow fluid
- Refusing to eat
- No weight gain
- Blood in stool
- Difficulty breathing
If your baby is doing any of the above, as well as hiccups, take your baby to see the doctor to diagnose the cause and suggest how best to resolve the condition. This professional will also be able to answer your questions.
Potential solutions for baby hiccups
If the baby suffers from hiccups, there are numerous potential solutions. Your doctor may suggest:
- Burping techniques
- Gripe water
The burping techniques that your doctor describes may include holding the baby firmly in an upright position and gently rubbing your hand on the back. This action can release the trapped air.
Gripe water can be effective too. Some mothers swear by it and even their mothers used it. Talking to other moms is a great way to find out what others do to help their kids in areas ranging from health to education. Of course, listen to the doctor first and foremost.
Stopping the feeding for 5-10 minutes might be all the baby needs to remove trapped air, or gripe water could do the trick. There are UK government resources to help pregnant mothers, although every child is unique and your doctor can evaluable the baby in person.
Baby hiccups: What NOT to do
Among the things avoid when it comes to a hiccuping baby are:
- Scaring or shocking the baby
- Slap baby on the back
- Change the milk formula
It is an old wives’ tale that scaring a baby cures hiccups. Doing so can cause psychological harm rather than being helpful. As for slapping a baby on the back, the physical force can make things worse rather than better. Never change a baby’s diet either without first referring to a medical professional for their approval.
Most adults get hiccups now and then, and it always goes away on its own. That is often the same for a baby.
The human digestive system is complex, and hiccups are often the result of trapped air or regurgitated food, and your baby developing hiccups is usually not a cause for concern.
Sometimes all that it takes is changing the baby’s position when feeding to stop the hiccuping. Watch closely to see if the baby is taking in gulps of air while feeding, which is a major cause of hiccups.
There are apps for almost everything these days, and there are some great mom apps that connect you with experts and new moms. This resource can be valuable for 24/7 support during pregnancy and the first few years of motherhood. Register, create a personal profile, and start looking at the resources.
Even just relaxation can help a baby. It could be too that they simply need more time before or after eating for proper digestion to avoid hiccups from happening.