If this is your first pregnancy, every little kick, jab, and roll is a new sensation. And during my pregnancy I was pleasantly surprised to also feel my baby hiccup in the womb!
But is this normal and should you be concerned? Here’s why babies hiccup in the womb and signs you should contact your doctor.
Can Babies Hiccup In The Womb?
For children and adults, hiccuping is a relatively normal reflex. It should be no surprise that babies in the womb are capable of hiccuping as well.
While the exact reason is debated, some believe it has to do with your baby’s lung development.
A study found that fetal hiccups happen most often between weeks 18-24 of pregnancy. It’s considered a good sign that your baby is developing normally, however, hiccups later in pregnancy may be a sign of something more serious.
How Can I Tell The Difference Between A Hiccup And A Kick?
Seasoned moms can easily tell the difference between the two, but for us rookies, it may be hard to differentiate the movements.
From my experience, a kick was a sharp movement that often happened after I ate or drank, or when she was trying to change positions in the womb. A hiccup on the other hand was a more consistent and subtle feeling, often happening while I was sitting or lying down with little to no movement. My baby’s hiccups were evenly spaced and had the same amount of force each time.
If you’re struggling to tell the difference, don’t worry, it may still be early in your pregnancy. You’ll feel plenty of movement as your pregnancy progresses, and you’ll begin to differentiate between all the little flutters your baby creates.
What Can I Do To Ease Baby’s Hiccups?
Just like the hiccups you yourself experience, there’s numerous ways to get rid of them quickly. You can try:
- Drinking cold water (this worked at easing my baby’s hiccups each and every time)
- Change positions
- Go for a walk
But, you don’t always have to cure them right away. You’ll only feel your baby inside you for a short time, why not enjoy and embrace it? Lay back, put your hand on your belly and feel those little “pop, pop, pops” while you can!
Should I Be Concerned?
While fetal hiccups are a normal part of pregnancy, they aren’t very common in the last few weeks of your third trimester. It’s been suggested that feeling your baby hiccup 32 weeks later and on could be a sign of issues with the umbilical cord.
While this isn’t definitive, trust your instincts! If you notice that your baby’s hiccups are occurring more often than they did in earlier trimesters, if they’ve gotten stronger, or aren’t going away easily, it’s always best to contact your doctor to be safe.
In the meantime, rest easy knowing this is just another fun part of the journey that is motherhood.
Does your baby hiccup in the womb? Were your surprised when you first felt them? Let me know in the comments below!