During pregnancy, you might notice several transformations in your body as your baby grows in your womb. Yea, you will feel diverse movements which will become stronger as your baby grows older.
Along with kicks and jabs, you might also feel slight, repeated spasms inside of your womb.
These spasms may seem like normal kicks, but in the real sense, they are actually fetal hiccups.
Experiencing hiccups in babies in the womb is quite common during pregnancy, however, identifying them could be challenging.
Thus, it is important to know why a baby hiccups in the womb and how to stop these hiccups.
What Are Fetal Hiccups?
So what exactly are fetal hiccups? Quite simple; baby hiccups in your womb are the small movements baby’s diaphragm make as they learn how to breathe.
As your baby inhales, amniotic fluid eventually enters into their lungs, leading to contraction of the developing diaphragm. The result of this is baby hiccups in the utero.
What Causes Fetal Hiccups?
Doctors do not exactly know the reasons for fetal hiccups. Not all newborns have hiccups while in the womb.
However, it is believed that fetal hiccups are associated with the developing lungs of your baby, but that isn’t proven yet. A baby attempting to adjust to all new things in your womb might have hiccups.
More so, whenever a newborn has hiccups in the womb, it is usually a sign that she is meeting her developmental milestones on time. It could also mean that her progress is on track.
During pregnancy, you may get worried if you feel your baby hiccupping in your womb. But here are some common causes of hiccups in babies:
- Contracting Diaphragm
Fetal hiccups are closely related to the hiccups experienced by kids and adults. However, fetal hiccups are caused by a sudden onset of severe contractions or spasms of the diaphragm (this is the muscle that plays the role of the partition between the abdomen and the lungs).
Hiccups within the uterus are a reaction to the breathing amniotic fluid of your baby within the amniotic sac.
After the central nervous system develops, the amniotic acid flows in and out of your baby’s lungs, thus making the diaphragm contract voluntarily.
- Compressed Umbilical Cord
An extremely serious and alarming medical condition where a fetus is most likely to get hiccups is typically when the umbilical cord is compressed or gets wrapped around the baby’s neck.
This normally happens in the third and second trimester of the pregnancy.
Are Fetal Hiccups Normal?
Babies might experience hiccups in the womb continuously and for quite a long time. But, you might only start experiencing them from your second and third trimester onwards.
However, nothing can further be said for sure, all mothers feel baby hiccups and fetal movements at different times.
But if your baby hiccups or you experience movements in your womb, it is a sign that your baby is developing properly. Nonetheless, if you notice any fetal hiccups after 32 weeks of being pregnant, ensure you visit a doctor as it could indicate a problem.
How to Stop Fetal Hiccups in the Womb
There are certain things you can try to ease fetal hiccups, however, there is no proven method for preventing your baby from hiccupping in your womb. Doctors normally suggest the following things:
- Eat healthy food
- Drink plenty of water
- Get enough sleep
Always keep track of your baby’s movement in your womb. Yea, ensure you pay attention to jabs and kicks as frequent fetal movements are a sign that your baby is developing properly in your womb. However, if you notice any reduced or unusual movement, they should consult their doctor at once.