It may be familiar to some parents to find that their baby hiccups after every meal. Why does my baby hiccup after eating? You will be surprised to learn that hiccups are more common than you might think in babies. Even inside the belly, they can already suffer from it.
Although the causes are associated with stomach immaturity or eating habits, there is no precise scientific reason for hiccups. The truth is that any of the above can make a baby more prone to suffer from it. At FastlyHeal, we approach this issue from the perspective of parents. Learn about the causes, consequences, and ways to help your baby overcome this reflex.
Hiccups in Babies
You should know that this condition is not as uncomfortable for the baby as it seems. Hiccups are entirely harmless and painless. As well as no effects on respiratory or digestive processes.
Hiccups are the product of involuntary contraction of the diaphragm, whose job is to separate the lungs from the stomach while helping to empty them. When the rhythm of exhaling and inhaling – natural to the respiratory process – is interrupted, a spasm occurs in the diaphragm. Which in turn closes the vocal cords, causing the sound of hiccups.
This process occurs so quickly that it is almost impossible to prevent it. However, adopting a proper posture when eating and controlling the amount of food consumed can help avoid hiccups.
If your baby suffers from hiccups every time he eats, you don’t need to run to the doctor right away. With a bit of patience, it will pass. Only in cases where the hiccups persist for more than 48 hours, become frequent, or the baby manifests pain is it recommended to consult a specialist.
Why does my baby hiccup after eating?
The causes associated with hiccups are mainly related to the digestive system. Hence, it is more common to see this reflex during or after the baby’s feeding. However, there are other causes to consider about hiccups in babies after eating :
- Stomach immaturity: some babies, especially premature babies, are born with an underdeveloped digestive system. This brings some problems associated with digestion that can make the baby more prone to hiccups—for example, gastroesophageal reflux, which irritates the diaphragm causing involuntary spasms.
- The way the baby feeds: Another known cause is the position in which the baby is fed. Specialists recommend that both during breastfeeding and when introducing solid foods, the baby adopts a posture that is as upright as possible. This will help you swallow better.
- The amount of food he receives: if the baby eats a lot or eats very quickly, he may suffer from hiccups. This is because you will lose the rhythm of inhaling and exhaling at some point during your feeding, causing the diaphragm to contract.
- Immaturity of the nervous system: because the nervous system controls all the nerves in the body, there have been situations where some nerves can irritate the diaphragm, causing it to contract. This condition is more common in premature babies.
Can hiccups be prevented in babies?
There are some recommendations when feeding the baby that can help prevent hiccups. First of all, do not wait until the child is starving to feed him. Because by nature, you will want to eat a lot and very quickly, two conditions that benefit the presence of hiccups.
For exclusively breastfed babies, the breastfeeding technique is essential. The baby should be as vertical as possible, and his mouth should cover the entire nipple so as not to allow him to swallow air. It is essential to get your gas out well after each feeding.
I prefer anti-spasm nipples or pacifiers. Many brands are on the market, but some have superior technology that helps control the passage of air in the nipples. This prevents hiccups in many cases.
Home remedies to remove hiccups
Although the best-known remedies to eliminate hiccups are challenging to apply to babies, some people achieve good results by putting them into practice. So I share some of them:
- Rocking and relaxing the baby: A common technique is to relax the baby by rocking it in your arms. Although we know that the contraction of the diaphragm is involuntary, the helping the child to rest, the better the condition. Likewise, it allows the baby to continue feeding despite the hiccups.
- Offer liquid: drinking water can improve the condition of hiccups. If the baby is nursing, breastfeeding may be offered to ease the discomfort.
- Massaging the stomach: rubbing the baby’s tummy has the same effect as rocking it. The goal is to get him to relax. Place the baby with the head a little higher than the feet to avoid reflux during the massage.
For more information, in the following FastlyHealarticle, we explain how to remove hiccups from a baby.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.