Why Do Babies Get Hiccups in the Womb? (Everyday, 35 Weeks, 37 Weeks)

Pregnant women undergo a number of rapid changes in their bodies. However, these changes are caused by the growth and development of the fetus.

If you’re already pregnant or you’re hoping to have a child in the future, you already know that you won’t feel the same way you used to feel before pregnancy. 

So if you’re worried about why babies get hiccups in the womb, here’s why:

Babies get hiccups in the womb and it can last for 3.5 minutes. In the second half of pregnancy, a mother will frequently notice fetal hiccups when they’re sitting still, thus hiccups are caused by a contraction of the diaphragm, which causes the fetal thorax and abdomen to displace. A change in breathing pattern is another cause of hiccups in newborn babies.

Here’s everything you need to know about baby having hiccups in the womb everyday, in 35 weeks, in 37 weeks, and so on.

As the baby develops, pregnant woman experiences different types of movements in the womb. One of the most frequent movement is hiccups.

Why do babies get hiccups? 

  • Hiccups occur when a baby inhales and exhales amniotic fluid in the amniotic sac. It also occurs to confirm that, the central nervous system of the baby is fully functional and ready to encounter the world outside. Hiccups aren’t related to breathing.
  • When the baby hiccups in the womb, most pregnant women feel sudden hardening of the womb or a twitch, the movement caused by hiccups is rhythmical. Baby hiccuping in the womb, tends to increase as days goes by. Baby’s first movement in the womb is known as quickening.
  • Certain factors such as the mother’s weight or the placenta’s position can show how soon a pregnant woman begins feeling the baby’s first movements. For instance, an expectant mother with less weight at the abdomen region starts feeling the baby’s movements earlier than the one with more weight.

5 Causes of baby hiccuping in the womb

Just as newborn, kids, and adults get hiccups, babies get hiccups in the womb, too.

However, these hiccups are an indicator of various developmental milestones that a baby undergoes while in the womb.

Let’s have a look at the developments that occurs to a baby, as he/she starts to hiccup:

1). The respiratory system

Inhaling and exhaling of amniotic fluid causes the baby to start hiccuping. This indicates that the baby’s diaphragm is developing normally.

This is the first cause of hiccups and it normally starts about 10 weeks of age.

2). The nervous system

Baby’s hiccups indicate a process of the activation of a nerve that wheels the diaphragm, says Brandi Ring an obstetrician and Gynecologist.

It helps in confirming the brain and the spinal cord of the baby are in good position and well-functioning to suit the outside world. Basically, hiccups happen to prepare a child to the world outside the womb.

3. Reflexes

Apart from breathing, there are other things that a baby does in the womb e.g. thumb-sucking, yawning, and suckling.

Definitely, these are the things a baby does after being born. These activities can cause hiccups in the womb.

4). Contractions of the diaphragm

Rapid onset of strong contractions of the diaphragm can cause hiccuping.

The spontaneous contractions are caused by amniotic acid flowing in and out of the lungs. That is, after the central nervous systems are fully developed.

5). Compressed umbilical cord

Hiccups can occur, when the umbilical cord, has wrapped or compressed itself around the neck of the baby. This condition is likely to occur at the end of the second or third trimester.

It’s a rare condition but very serious when it occurs. It affects very few babies. It’s always good for a pregnant woman to go for routine prenatal check-ups to avoid such uncertainties.

Is it normal for the baby to have hiccups in the womb?

  • Yes, baby’s hiccups are generally a good sign that their organs, muscles, and systems are developing. Most babies start to hiccup in the womb, which is completely normal. Your baby will continue hiccuping even after being born. Hiccuping is a reflex action, just like any other reflex action (e.g., sneezing or coughing).
  • Each pregnancy is unique in its own way, there’s no specific time for hiccups to begin in a day. Hiccups are random and can occur severally at any time of the day. Other babies don’t get it often, others don’t get it completely. This is okay since pregnancies are not the same.
  • To be sure, always feel free to call your obstetrician-gynecologist. Otherwise hiccups in babies are just normal and healthy. Of course, if your baby doesn’t hiccup you may feel stressed, but as stated above, hiccups may or may not occur, and both situations are completely normal. Any issue that raises a concern, about change in baby’s movements, should be addressed immediately with your obstetrician-gynecologist.
  • At the third trimester, you start to feel more frequent rhythmical hiccups along with other movements of your baby in the womb. You will be able to differentiate each type of movement as they occur, because they are significantly different.

Baby Hiccups in womb (everyday)? Here’s why:

Babies hiccup everyday in the womb as a result of sudden contraction of the diaphragm, which is often triggered by stimulation of the muscle.

Baby Hiccups in womb (33 weeks)? Here’s why:

In 33 weeks, you may experience fetal hiccups mostly in the second or third trimester. The reason for this is that hiccups help in lung maturation and in the development of the fetus before they’re finally delivered.

Baby Hiccups in womb (35 weeks)? Here’s why:

Baby hiccups in the womb is normal. In 35 weeks, the lungs are getting matured and needs some contraction, the muscles are also developing, so you’ll experience fetal hiccups every once in a while.

Baby Hiccups in womb (37 weeks)? Here’s why:

In 37 weeks, the baby is developing so rapidly and requires some adjustments so that the muscles, lungs, and immune system can develop further. So fetal hiccups happen at this time to support this process.

Baby Hiccups in womb (38 weeks)? Here’s why:

Baby hiccups in 38 weeks and beyond shouldn’t be a cause to worry. It’s a reflex action that’s totally normal. What you might experience at this time is kicking, which is a movement of the baby when they’re uncomfortable in a certain position. A rhythmic twitching in the womb when you’re sitting still is a sign of baby’s hiccups, not a kicking.

When do you expect baby’s hiccups?

As in the case of other movements, hiccups begin in the first trimester. Although you won’t be able to feel the movements caused by hiccups that early.

They become more prominent in the second and third trimester and you will be able to feel properly.

Hiccups mostly start to occur, after the development of the central nervous system of the baby.

How to stop baby hiccups in the womb?

Despite hiccups being normal, it can be so distracting and uncomfortable, especially when taking a nap or in a meeting somewhere.

But as in our own encounter with hiccups, there’s no sure way to stop hiccups, until it disappears on its own. Same case applies to babies in utero.

Most obstetrician/gynecologist suggests that you:

  1. Drink water: Consuming plenty of water can/may help, since the hiccuping might be due to lack of enough fluids.
  2. Change in positions or take a walk for a while: These may trigger the baby to shift position in the womb hence, stopping the hiccups.
  3. Eat food with all the nutrients that the body needs: Eating a balanced diet keeps the baby healthy and reduces the occurrence of hiccups.
  4. You can do some exercises that rock the baby in the womb: This will shift the baby’s position thus, easing the hiccups.
  5. Take a nap. Sleeping helps you relax: To some babies, when you sleep they also tend to relax and this may as well stop the hiccups.

How long should baby hiccups last in the womb?

  • You don’t have any control of hiccups because they are a reflex action; you basically have no power to stop it, just like coughing, It comes unceremoniously and you have nothing to do to make it stop instantly. Hiccups are not serious in both babies and adults. Hiccups don’t last too long; it usually disappears after a couple of minutes. 
  • Hiccups run across all people, a baby, a child, an adult and even an old person. Everyone is equally attacked by episodes of hiccups. The good thing is that it doesn’t last long, usually five to ten minutes. And it’s not harmful.
  • If you’re a pregnant woman and the baby starts to hiccup, the movements caused by hiccups will stop after a few minutes. This indicates that the baby has stopped hiccuping. This can’t last long, so don’t get scared.
  • By chance, if you notice anything unusual, especially, hiccups that last too long or reoccurs after a very short time. Contact your obstetrician immediately. It might be a sign of a very serious underlying issue.

When Will I Feel My Baby’s Hiccup?

It’s very exciting to feel your baby’s movements. A fetal movement gives an assurance that the baby is okay and developing well. 

Although we don’t see it, we feel it, and that’s where the fun of being pregnant comes in.

  • Hiccups can begin when the baby is nine weeks or twelve weeks old. However, most pregnant women don’t feel the baby’s hiccups properly, until they are five months or six months pregnant, especially first time mothers.
  • Fetal movements are rarely felt during the early months of pregnancy. Most pregnant women, starts feeling their baby’s first movement from week 16 to week 20. Each movement vary from each other significantly.
  • Most doctors say that; women who have had other pregnancies are likely to feel fetal movements earlier than first time mothers. Other factors such as mother’s size, baby’s position in the womb, the position of the placenta, and the position of the uterus. May influence the time a woman feels fetal movements.

Frequent baby hiccups, is it normal?

Since hiccups are not a cause of concern. Sometimes it goes beyond normal and this is when you should get concerned.

Hiccups usually occurs at random, hence you cannot be able to count them accurately.

  • Doctors say that hiccups, even when they occur frequently, it’s normal and it’s a part of baby’s development and maturity process. But if you’ve had previous pregnancies and this one seems off, it’s okay to get worried.
  • A recent study found out that, most frequent hiccups are related to cord compression or cord accidents. However, it has not yet been confirmed by other studies. Generally, frequent hiccups in the third trimester may indicate a serious problem. Always, don’t hesitate to contact your gynecologist if you experience this.
  • The best way to keep track of your baby’s development and well being is to always attend all your prenatal appointments and heed to doctors advice. Quickly rush to the hospital, if you don’t feel any fetal movements.