What Are Newborn Hiccups?
The singhiozzo neonato little high-pitched hiccups may have you chuckling, but they’re also one of the body’s natural functions. Hiccups are actually spasms of the diaphragm, a sheet of muscle below the lungs that is moved up and down when you breathe. This movement sends a message to the brain that tells the vocal cords to contract, and the result is the hiccup sound.
Newborn hiccups often occur when they’re feeding, especially if they swallow air as they drink. This extra air can cause their stomach to expand and push against the diaphragm, which triggers the spasms that lead to hiccuping. Frequent hiccups during a bottle feed can be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux (GER), which causes partially digested food and acidic juice to flow back into the esophagus through the diaphragm.
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While there’s no definitive reason for newborn hiccups, a recent study claims that they help the body regulate breathing. The researchers found that babies who get hiccups are more likely to take deep breaths and use the lungs in their abdomen when breathing, which helps them maintain oxygen levels and prevent hyperventilation.
Hiccups in newborns are a normal part of their development and are harmless, but they can be frustrating for new parents. Fortunately, there are plenty of safe and natural remedies to stop baby hiccups. Just avoid slapping the infant or using methods like a wet cloth on the forehead, as they can be dangerous. For a quick and easy solution, try rocking the baby or gently rubbing their back.