If you are in your second or third trimester of pregnancy, you have most likely experienced your baby’s hiccups, and you have a million questions about them.
This article will help you understand when it’s normal and when it’s not and let you know that many other babies are hiccupping in their mothers’ wombs and the possible reasons.
Understanding Baby’s Hiccups
A baby’s hiccups are little movements that occur in the womb when the fetus inhales and amniotic fluid enters its lungs. This in turn causes the diaphragm to contract and result in hiccups. Hiccups in a fetus can occur from the first trimester, but the baby is too tiny, and the movements are not distinct enough.
Differentiating a Hiccup and Other Fetal Movements
When you are not sure your baby is having hiccups, change your sitting posture or move around. You will feel the baby’s movements in different parts of the womb. If the movement was a kick or the baby was adjusting its position in the womb, the movements will stop after a while. If the rhythmic pulse continues, it is no doubt that you are dealing with a hiccup.
Are Hiccups Normal?
When your baby starts breathing and its respiratory system is in perfect condition, hiccups will be quite normal. This begins around week 10, and the jerking becomes more noticeable as you progress.
Based on science, hiccups confirm that the baby’s nervous system is functional and that the baby will survive in the outside world. The unborn baby still sucks its thumb, yawns, and does other normal activities that may result in hiccups.
As every pregnant woman is unique, there is no standard way to measure how many times your baby should hiccup or even just move. However, when you grow to differentiate between a normal movement and a hiccup, you will notice that there will be a pattern when your baby hiccups. As you get closer to delivery, the hiccups greatly reduce in frequency.
When to See Your Doctor
If you notice that hiccups’ frequency is increasing as you get closer to your delivery date, make an appointment with your doctor as the umbilical cord may be wrapped around the baby’s neck or compressed, depriving the baby of oxygen.
Our instincts are right more often than not, and as time goes by, you will understand your baby and know when to expect hiccups or movements. If you notice an unusual occurrence like hiccups that last longer than usual together with fetal movement, consult your doctor. The physician will probably prescribe an ultrasound to check that everything is fine.
How Meals and Meal Timing Cause Baby’s Hiccups
The quality of food a mother eats—even before pregnancy—can affect the growth of a fetus. A baby requires a balanced diet as much as a grown human does, and if foods cannot provide it all, an expectant woman is advised to get prescription supplements safe for her and the fetus.
Meals and hiccups are very much co-related, and it is no wonder that even in adults, the manner of intake and type of our meals are the reason for hiccups. Taking small meals often in a day instead of large meals reduces the chances of fetal hiccups. Some foods are known to cause hiccups. They include spicy foods and carbonated drinks. After meals, sit upright or take walks to avoid acid reflux, which may cause hiccups.
How to Deal With Hiccups
At times, hiccups can make you uncomfortable, and you may want to stop them. Here are some tips you can try.
- Drink water: A glass in one go makes us hold our breath for some time, and it may cure your baby’s hiccups.
- Breathe in deeply and in a relaxed manner.
- Try sucking on or drinking something that is highly flavored like lime and ginger and listen for a change.
If you are not doing anything that requires all your focus, you can also let nature take its course. Aren’t babies just cute? If you are doing everything you can to avoid hiccups, and they are still there and are not a sign of an underlying condition, your young one just wants to remind you that he or she exists, so just embrace the hiccups. In no time, your baby will be hiccupping in your hands. How cute!