I got a distress call from my friends who are first-time parents, and they were so worried that their 2week old baby girl has kept hiccuping since birth. They were freaked out. I wasn’t, why? Let’s learn.
WHAT ARE HICCUPS?
Hiccups are brief and involuntary contractions of the diaphragm muscle resulting irritation of the diaphragm.
WHAT LEADS TO HICCUPS?
Hiccups happen when the diaphragm is irritated.
IS IT NORMAL FOR MY NEWBORN BABY TO HAVE HICCUPS?
°It is not abnormal or strange to see babies hiccup, in fact, it is a common occurrence.
Contrary to what you might think, hiccups don’t
Disturb babies as they disturb adults.
In fact, babies can sleep through a bout of hiccups.
However we are worried if your baby has hiccups continuously over a stretch of 24 hrs (nonstop), and if this is the case you’ll need to see a Paediatrician.
CAUSES OF HICCUPS:
2) Hyperactivity after meals
3) Increased air swallowing during meals
4) Gastro-oesophageal Reflux
1) Don’t overfeed your babies.
Most mothers are so scared of malnutrition in their babies that they seize every opportunity to stuff their Babies Up. This is a common cause of hiccups.
Feed twice as often and half as much. If the stomach distends too fast or becomes too full, this can trigger the diaphragm muscle to go into spasms.
Slow down during feedings, and stop and burp your baby as you switch from one breast to the other to release the trapped air.
If you bottle-feed, pause halfway through the bottle, burp her and then finish off the feeding a few minutes
2) No Active movement immediately after Feeding
Don’t engage or allow your baby to engage in active movement immediately after feeding.
Keep her sitting up for at least twenty minutes after a feeding to allow any air to rise the top of the stomach, which will relieve pressure on the diaphragm and enable burping.
3) Reduce air swallowing.
Besides gulping too much milk too fast, young infants typically swallow too much air during feedings, also distending the stomach.
A)Review your latch-on techniques during breastfeeding: Be sure your baby’s lips open wide and form a tight seal around your areola, not just the nipple. Listen to your baby: You will hear a lot of gulping and air swallowing if she’s nursing too quickly and sucking in air.
B) If bottle-feeding, tilt the bottle to a 45-degree angle so the air rises to the bottom of the bottle. Try a bottle with collapsible bag inserts—these are designed to minimize air swallowing.
C) Lastly, be sure to sit her upright in your lap (at a 30- to 45-degree angle) while feeding, as that will help prevent air from settling in the stomach.
Persistent hiccups may also signal the possibility that your baby has Gastroesophageal reflux DISEASE(GERD), which is a condition where the sphincter between the stomach and oesophagus is lax and so causes reflux of gastric (stomach) contents to the oesophagus and sometimes to the mouth, this contents are usually acidic and interpreted as ‘Heartburn’ in Adults. In this case, you should see a Doctor. It’s usually nothing to worry about.
I hope this helps someone.
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