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Michele Hakakha, MD, ob-gyn

Does Baby Have The Hiccups?

I think my baby has the hiccups in utero! What’s going on?

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 your unborn 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 his 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 he’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
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