Babies regularly hiccup after sucking, sometimes for long minutes. What is the cause and how can it be helped to stop it? The advice of Doctor Noémie Nathan, pediatrician.
Your baby has just swallowed his bottle and he is launched into a large hiccup attack. In adults, all means are good for passing hiccups: hold your breath, drink a glass of water with a spoon in it, eat a sugar soaked in vinegar, ask a friend to scare us. So many methods that are ultimately ineffective and above all very difficult to apply with a newborn!
“The hiccups are due to an involuntary spasmodic and coordinated contraction of all the inspiratory muscles (diaphragm and intercostal muscles) associated with a closure of the glottis. It results in repetitive and sometimes noisy shakes“explains Doctor Noémie Nathan.”It is above all an uncontrollable respiratory reflex which leads to a succession of characteristic sound hiccups“, continues the pediatrician. A phenomenon perfectly banal and without gravity … which has no other particular utility. The famous saying of our grandmothers” Baby hiccuping, baby healthy! “is based on no reality A hiccup is not a sign of good health, nor does it indicate that baby is growing up well, another theory that is commonly heard. the eye should be opened if the baby seems uncomfortable or if the hiccups cause pain. It’s important to make sure hiccups are not a sign of GERD ((gastroesophageal reflux) internal.
In the baby, “hiccups are triggered by a dilation of the stomach after a meal too large or too fast, associated with a change in position, which compresses the diaphragm and triggers hiccups“specifies the pediatrician. But it can also occur for no particular reason when the baby is empty. This is particularly the case when it is overly stimulated. When agitated, it can swallow air and trigger a hiccup attack.
It is no coincidence that baby’s hiccups are frequently triggered when lying down. As Doctor Nathan explains “the occurrence of hiccups is triggered by the lying position because the enlarged stomach volume mechanically compresses the diaphragm which triggers the spasm“The pediatrician nevertheless wants to be reassuring,”hiccups being completely harmless and painless for children“Bedtime while having a hiccup attack is absolutely safe.
Babies can have hiccups regardless of their eating habits, breast or bottle. However, bottle-fed babies are more likely to get it because they can swallow air because of the pacifier. But in general, the occurrence of hiccups depends mainly on the meal speed and ingested volume.
All moms have experienced this funny feeling when baby starts to hiccup in utero. The explanation is very simple. In his mother’s womb, the fetus regularly swallows amniotic fluid, nothing extraordinary so that he can have hiccups, as it will be the case afterwards with a bottle of milk. We observe this phenomenon from the 20th week of pregnancy and they are very noticeable by the expectant mother who makes the distinction between baby’s movements and his hiccups!
First thing, of course we avoid all the grandmother methods reserved for adults! “To get the hiccups going faster, you have to empty your stomach to decompress the diaphragm“ explains Doctor Nathan. For that you need suckle the baby because swallowing causes the stomach to open and empty. We can either offer him the pacifier or the little finger, but also offer him a small bottle of water. Don’t hesitate to rock him gently and pat him on the back to help evacuate the air. However, don’t worry if you can’t stop baby hiccups, it will pass on its own after a few minutes and rarely exceeds more than half an hour. You will also see that very often hiccups do not seem to bother him at all and that he continues to lead his life without worrying about it at all. Thank you to Doctor Noémie Nathan, pediatrician.