hiccupping can and regularly does affect babies. In newborns and even in fetuses, hiccupping is a normal and even important event. Babies up to one year old and in the womb can get them frequently. If your infant has hiccups, know that they are normal and will likely cease on their own within a short time period. Most home remedies are strictly not recommended for infants and can be dangerous. There are some things you can do that may help them pass, but safety and sense should come before anything. Babies’ hiccups tend to be more frustrating for parents than for the babies themselves anyway!
It is often a surprise for mothers to find out that hiccupping actually begins in utero! There is no broad consensus in the medical community about exactly why fetal hiccupping occurs, but it almost certainly has something to do with the immaturity of the baby’s organs. As the baby matures, the hiccupping generally reduces in frequency and intensity. It is thought that the contractions of the diaphragm that occur during hiccupping are a way for fetuses to strengthen their diaphragm in preparation for breathing once they are born. Fetal hiccupping is not only normal, but is usually a sign of a healthy baby!
Research has shown that babies can begin hiccupping as early as six weeks after conception, but they are generally not felt by the mother until the baby is larger – often well into the second trimester. Mothers generally describe feeling fetal hiccupping as series of rhythmic movements differing in feel from the normal kicking. If you are a mother experiencing this, you can tell roughly where your baby's head and abdomen are by feeling where the hiccups are coming from! The hiccupping can be also be pick up on ultrasounds and on a Doppler at the doctor’s office.
While fetal hiccupping is normal and nothing to worry about, in rare cases it can be a sign of Cord Compression. Cord Compression occurs when the umbilical cord wraps around the fetus’s neck, cutting off air supply to the fetus and increasing its heart rate, which can result in hiccupping. It is suggested that if a mother notices a sudden increase in the frequency, intensity, and duration of fetal hiccupping, that she schedule an ultrasound.
Babies with Hiccups
Hiccups in Newborns are just as common and normal as fetal hiccups. Preterm infants can spend up to 2.5% of their time hiccupping - that's over half an hour a day! Baby hiccupping tends to bother parents much more than it bothers the babies themselves. Occasionally if the hiccupping is frequent enough to interrupt feeding or sleep then the baby may get frustrated. The best thing to do in these cases is just to calm your baby down and take their mind off of it until the episode passes.
Hiccups in babies are often cause by feeding or by sudden drops in temperature. Babies who hiccup very frequently may have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. If your baby experiences this very frequently, seems cranky when they do, and possibly spits up a lot as well, then you may want to schedule a session with your doctor. hiccupping is a very normal thing and nothing to be worried about, but unusual hiccupping can point to a more serious underlying condition.
If you want to try something to help your baby, then the following suggestions may work. Be sure not to try home remedies like getting them to breathe into a paper bag, startling them, or generally anything else you would not want happening to your baby!
- Feed your baby (bottle or breast feed). Feeding can help relax the diaphragm.
- Sit your baby up and comfort it until they pass
- If your baby hiccups frequently after feeding, you can try burping them more often during feeding
- It has been suggested that drops in temperature may be a cause. Holding your baby close to you and ensuring they are warm may help. In addition it can relax your baby and take their mind off of it.
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