Fetal hiccups, and there they are!

Fetal hiccups manifests as rhythmic movements in the mother's womb during pregnancy when the hiccups are frequent. The mother will feel a sort of spasm in her belly and this might happen several times per day. It is completely normal for a baby to hiccup during pregnancy. It is therefore not necessary for you to contact a doctor or medical practitioner when you experience a fetal hiccup. If you want to hear the fetal hiccups, you can use the Sonoline B Fetal Doppler.

Fetal Hiccups: when do they occur?

During pregnancy, hiccupping will happen at least once or may be experienced on several occasions. They prepare the baby's lungs to breathe for life after birth and also strengthen the lungs and diaphragm of the unborn baby. Furthermore, fetal hiccups serve as practice for essential skills that the baby will require once it is born such as swallowing or sucking. This is because the hiccup will be some sort of reflex action somehow similar to the baby sucking the breasts of mother. A very important aspect to this is that after birth, any ingested foods or liquids will not go to the baby's lungs, as there's not yet any fetal lung maturity

Are fetal hiccups normal?

Fetal hiccups are completely normal and essential for the growth and development of a baby while it is in its mother's womb. It is caused when the fetal diaphragm repeatedly contracts a couple of times so as to remove the amniotic fluid that a fetus will breathe in when it is practicing how to breathe. Hiccups will not be experienced before a nervous system is developed. A result of this, they will occur in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy and another benefit of hiccups is that they serve as some sort of regulatory mechanism to regulate the fetal heart rate. They can sometimes occur before the 3rd trimester but they largely go unnoticed in this period and are more noticeable later on. Some fetal hiccups have been known to last for as long as half an hour on some occasions.

It is however possible for fetal hiccups to represent some form of abnormality in the growth and development of a baby while it is in its mother's womb. This is in cases where the umbilical cord has some sort of compression in it and there is not enough flow of air to the unborn baby especially if it is coiled around the baby's neck. Fetal hiccups that last for more than 10 minutes should be immediately reported to a doctor as they may be causing some distress to the fetus and may be the result of a pregnancy related complication.

Discomfort and Fetal Hiccups

fetal hiccups

Fetal hiccups do not cause any sort of discomfort or anxiety to the baby or mother in most cases but when their frequency and length becomes long, it is advisable to have them monitored by your doctor. There is no known remedy to getting rid of medical hiccups but it is important to mention them to your medical doctor. You will often be informed that this is a normal process that does not affect you or your baby's health.

It is also necessary to be able to tell the difference between a fetal hiccup and any other type of fetal movement. Other fetal movements are normally in the form of a thumb in a specific location on the mother's belly while a hiccup causes the entire womb of the pregnant woman to move. It may be difficult to make a distinguishment between a fetal hiccup and a fetus just moving around while it is in the womb, causing some sort of movement in the placental fluid which normally acts like a barrier. An important thing to do is to always remain calm and you could also try singing to your baby to help soothe him/her. In majority of the reported cases, fetal hiccups are not accompanied by any sort of pain and/or discomfort but some women have reported that their stomach muscles do feel weary after they have experienced a fetal hiccup. This is however not a bad thing since to the mother, a fetal hiccup will help make the abdominal muscles of the mother much stronger as it is also some form of practice to her too.

Some mothers may not experience fetal hiccups but this does not mean that they are not occurring. If you use a fetal doppler, it will be possible for them to actually see and hear an actual fetal hiccup as it is a normal part of pregnancy that has been known to happen no less than once during the course of the pregnancy. Fetal hiccups are also sometimes related to the health of the mother. They may occur if the pregnant mother is unable to supply enough oxygen to the unborn baby in the mother's womb. There's no need for worry but, as earlier stated, it is always a good idea to mention any experience of fetal hiccups to your medical practitioner.

fetal hiccups