Many pregnant women experience certain spasms in their womb and these spasms are actually nothing but baby hiccups. Yes, that is right. Fetal hiccups can show up as early as in the first trimester but in most cases, they show up in the second or third trimester.
When the baby hiccups, the spasms produced are slightly different from other types of pregnancy movements. Almost all women experience fetal hiccups atleast once during their pregnancy, if not more. Some babies even take hiccups on a daily basis. Let’s read more about fetal hiccups.
One of the most common reason or cause of baby hiccups in the womb is the contracting diaphragm. This usually happens in the case of mature fetuses because for a fetus to hiccup, its central nervous system must be complete. It is this system that gives the fetus the ability to breathe in amniotic fluid due to which the hiccups may take place.
In ultrasounds, fetal hiccups may be seen as rhytematic or jumping movements. These hiccups are usually reflexive and may not lead to discomfort. Hiccups prepare the lungs of fetuses for a healthy respiratory function after birth and also regulate the heart rate.
In many cases, fetal hiccups may take place when the fetus is not getting sufficient air. This may be due to umbilical cord compression. If a woman experiences a sudden decrease in the frequency, length of intensity of the hiccups, she must contact her doctor. Cord compression may occur in the case when the umbilical cord wraps around the neck of the fetus and leading to cutting off of air supply. What happens is that when this cord gets wrapped up, the heart rate of the baby may increase and the flow of blood from cord to baby may decline.
Mature fetuses may hiccup as they begin to develop a reflex which enables them to or allows them to suckle or drink from mother’s breast milk after they take birth. So once the fetus is born, this reflex will prevent the milk they drink from entering their lungs.
It is Normal
It is important to know about baby hiccups inside the womb are extremely normal. If you constantly drink water throughout the day, then you have high chances of hiccupping and since the baby drinks too much amniotic fluid constantly, they too have a tendency to hiccup. Even if a small amount enters their lung, the diaphragm will contract to get rid of it, leading to hiccups which is normal and rather important. It is important to know that the baby won’t choke because he gets all the oxygen through the placenta.
For mothers who are unsure of what to do when the baby hiccups, the answer is to relax. You can monitor the hiccups, the frequency at which they appear the intensity and the length for which they go on. Being anxious or scared is totally unnecessary.