Things you should know about fetal hiccups

Noticing your baby’s movements like punches or kicks since they are still in the womb is a wonderful feeling. However, alongside the jabs and kicks, you sometime may notice other movements like rhythmic twitching in one spot. Surely that your baby can not punch or kick that frequently. These movements may feel more like muscle spasms or other pulsing. But they might be your baby’s hiccup. So to let you understand about this movement, here are the things you should know about fetal hiccups.

The Causes of the Baby’s Hiccup


Hiccups, in both babies and adults,  are caused by the sudden, irregular but repeated spasms of the diaphragm – a type of lung muscle that plays an important role in the breath. This contraction pushes a sudden flow of air out of the lung, causing the larynx to close, and making the hiccup sound. While still in the womb, your baby’s respiratory system is incomplete so they cannot regulate breathing. Therefore, if your baby takes a large amount of amniotic fluid, the diaphragm will be under greater pressure than normal so it may constrict, resulting in a hiccup.

In addition, babies may also hiccup while practicing suckling, so they can be ready for breastfeeding right after birth. They will practice swallowing milk and breath at the same time without congestion in the lungs. As they sucking too hard during the process, hiccups may happen.

However, hiccups may be caused by problems with the umbilical cord. When your baby is having the umbilical cord wrapped around their neck, it will reduce the amount of oxygen provided to the baby, making it difficult for the baby to breathe, the diaphragm needs to work harder, causing hiccups. This condition may make your baby hiccup for a long time, with more and more intensity plus kicked hard at the same time in the womb. If you find your baby having these movements, visit your doctors immediately for the best treatment. If this condition lasts for too long, it may lead to miss carriage and other complications.

When Will You Feel Your Baby’s Hiccups

Baby’s hiccups are not so much different from adults. Some babies get the hiccups several times a day for a couple of minutes. Others may not get them at all.  If your baby is getting hiccups, you may feel like your stomach is twitching and you may hear the hiccup sound echoing from your belly. Normally pregnant women start to feel their baby’s hiccups when they reach 6 months of pregnancy. But the same with other fetal movements, different moms will feel the baby’s hiccups at different times. Some mothers don’t even feel the baby’s hiccup in their pregnancy period.  So don’t be too worried about it. By the time your reach the third trimester, you’ve probably grown familiar with baby’s rhythms. You will likely feel more frequent hiccups in the womb, which will then decrease as you get closer to delivery. 

What Should You Do If Your Baby Is Getting Hiccup

Hiccup is a normal reflex and a normal part of pregnancy. They shall not make your baby feel uncomfortable no matter if they are still in your womb or have been delivered. For adults, there are plenty of ways to reduce hiccups. But there aren’t any surefire ways to stop your baby’s hiccups as they are still in the uterus. You can try changing your positions or have a walk. Changing positions will make your baby more comfortable and may reduce hiccups. However, the best way to deal with fetal hiccups is simply to embrace them.

In the case that your baby hiccups last too long and happen more frequently, especially after week 32 of pregnancy, you should contact your doctors immediately. As mentioned, these signs may show that your baby is having the umbilical cord compression that may lead to different complications.

There you go, now you have the things you should know about fetal hiccups. Do you have any questions about it? Please let us know in the comments!