Hiccups During Pregnancy: What Do They Feel Like?

When attempting to conceive, you might be searching for any symptom which may hint whether your efforts pay of, or not. Signs might range from hiccups, bleeding nose or metallic taste – no matter how strange that may seem.

Hiccups During Pregnancy

What Do Fetal Hiccups Feel Like?

It will be felt like it usually does when your baby is moving, but a lot more rhythmic. If your baby is positioned with his head down, you will feel the hiccups at the top of your tummy in your pelvis. If you pay attention carefully, you will notice that the rhythm of fetal hiccups is very similar to adult hiccups, caused by diaphragm movements as well.

According to most experts, at the onset of the last trimester of pregnancy is the period when most pregnancy women start feeling hiccups coming from their unborn child, but on an ultrasound they can be seen even from the first trimester, when the diaphragm of the baby develops.

Although some babies don`t experience hiccups, which is also perfectly normal!

What Causes Baby Hiccups in the Womb?

There haven`t been too many studies made on baby hiccups while pregnant, but there may be some speculations about what may be the cause. Baby hiccups represent simply a fetal reflex rather similar to the one of the mother. Only the more mature fetuses might hiccup, as it based on the central nervous system development.

Some specialists think that hiccups in the womb is caused by baby breathing or drinking, causing the amniotic fluid to get in and out of the lungs, which stimulates contractions from the diaphragm. Even more specifically, experts believe that the fetus swallows amniotic fluid. When this occurs, the amniotic liquid enters the lungs of the baby, his diaphragm shrinks, therefore results the hiccups. – Click here!

Keep in mind that baby hiccups isn`t harmful in any way. You don`t really have to call the doctor right away or panic. Get in touch with the doctor that supervises your pregnancy simply if you feel something may be wrong. Otherwise, just relax and enjoy these unique moments when you can listen to your unborn baby.

When to Worry about Fetal Hiccups?

Fetal hiccups generally represent a normal reflex. But in very rare situations, especially when talking about a late pregnancy, they might outline a problem related to the umbilical cord. Prolapse or compression of the umbilical cord, when the supply of oxygen and blood slows down or is discontinued from the baby, generally happens during the last few pregnancy weeks or even during delivery.

Complications of the umbilical cord issue might include:

  • Changes in the heart rate of blood pressure of the baby.
  • Brain damage.
  • The birth of a dead child.
  • Accumulation of CO2 in the blood of the baby.

In a research on the birth of a dead fetus, scientists explain that hiccups might represent a symptom of fetal hyperactivity because of the compression of the umbilical cord. Studies have found that hiccups occurring on a daily basis after the week 28 of pregnancy, and happen more than 4 times per day, might justify a medical investigation. However, the research was made on animals, and so, more research is required.

Whenever you may confront yourself with a sudden change of fetal hiccups, no matter if it`s longer, stronger or just somehow different, you should get in touch with your doctor for safety reasons. An ultrasound examination may solve the issue immediately.

How to Stop Baby Hiccups in the Womb?

While fetal hiccups in the womb are perfectly normal, all the popping might sometimes be disturbing, especially if you are trying to get some sleep or you are in a work meeting. Bust just like in the case of adult hiccups, there is no surefire way to stop the hiccups of a baby in the womb. Experts suggest changing positions, drink some water or walk around a bit, since just about any outside stimulus will encourage the little one to shift gears. However, why would you want to changes something as unique as your unborn baby experiencing hiccups? This is just one of the many great things that make the 9 months of pregnancy a wonderful period of your life – something you many never experience again.

Are Hiccups a Sign of Pregnancy?

While it`s completely true that hiccups may trouble just about anyone out there, they can also represent a sign of early pregnancy. Before everything else, you should know that hiccups are contractions of the diaphragm again and again, leading the breathing to fall out if the natural rhythm. They sometimes may prove to be quite hard to stop – you might need to have them stop on their own or wait them out, which may lead to stomach ache.

But why would they represent a sign of pregnancy? In early pregnancy, there`s a change in the electrolyte and fluid balance in just about the body of every woman. This particular change might affect the phrenic nerve by stimulating it (or even irritating it) and, therefore leading to hiccups. This pregnancy symptom is frequently overlooked as who would even connect hiccups as an indication of early pregnancy.

What to Do when a Newborn Has Hiccups?

If your baby has experienced hiccups inside the womb, he may experience them after being born as well. Hiccups may start after birth, no earlier than the second day after being born. Just like the hiccups that he may have been experiencing inside the uterus, these hiccups are just as harmless and painless.

Postnatal hiccups occur when the muscle contractions of the diaphragm lead to the child experiencing rapid and short breathing. Typically, these particular hiccups will disappear after only a couple of minutes. If they become disturbing, try to make the little one burp longer during his meals. In order to stop his hiccups, you could try feeding him, either by bottle or breastfeeding. Constant sucking may help his muscles relax and, therefore stop his hiccups.


Most attacks stop in a couple of minutes or hours, and don`t really need any particular treatment. In cases when the hiccups don`t pass on their own within a couple of hours, it`s required to administer treatment. Presently, this treatment involves pharmacological, non-pharmacological and complementary measures. Non-pharmacological treatment involves classical and traditional therapeutic measures which may increase the carbon dioxide level in the blood, which will stop the hiccups in the end.

Complications & Prognosis

The most frequent complications of acute hiccups are gastroesophageal reflux and arthritis, with chronic cases commonly accompanied by physical exhaustion, sleep disturbances and weight loss.

Hiccups in their acute form might appear to just about anyone, no matter their health status. However, chronic hiccups are more commonly diagnosed in adult males than females, but experts cannot exactly tell the cause of this variable incidence depending on gender.

Hiccups are usually self-limiting and the prognosis is excellent. When cases of chronic hiccups are concerned, the prognosis will be influenced by the underlying medical condition.

Image courtesy of healthline.com

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