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Michele Hakakha, MD

Does Baby Have The Hiccups?

Are those hiccups you feel? Here's how to tell if baby has the hiccups in utero and why it happens.

If you were sipping from a glass of water all day long, there’s a good chance you’d be hiccupping a lot, too. That’s pretty much what’s happening to baby—your little one is constantly drinking amniotic fluid, and if a small amount enters his lungs, his diaphragm will contract in order to get rid of it. And yes, it’s totally normal. Baby won’t choke because he receives all his oxygen through the placenta.

If baby’s hiccupping in utero, you’ll notice some small, repetitive jerks, similar to feeling her heartbeat, and it can go on for an hour or more. These hiccups are most common in the third trimester, as the baby grows larger and more developed. It can actually be a reassuring sign that things are progressing as normal, and that she’s just getting ready for life outside the womb.

Plus, more from The Bump:

When will other people be able to feel baby kick?

How can I get rid of bloating and indigestion?

How often should baby kick?

PHOTO: Raymond Forbes