Hiccups in newborn babies are not a symptom of any pathology or discomfort, nor do they have any health consequences.
In this article, we will try to explain why this is not something that you should worry about and that you should take as normal. We have all been there!
What are hiccups?
According to the definition of Dr. Jesús Fleta Zaragozano, of the Spanish Society of Out-of-Hospital Paediatrics and Primary Care, a hiccup is “an intermittent spasmodic contraction of the diaphragm and the accessory muscles of inspiration, which ends with the closure of the upper airway at the glottic level”.
According to the same source, it is a disorder that all human beings may suffer from at some point in their lives and that has no impact on their health.
Causes of hiccups in newborns
Although the causes of hiccups in newborns are not entirely clear, specialists point out certain situations where hiccups are more commonly triggered, such as after a large meal, if the baby has eaten too quickly, swallowed air, or when there are sudden changes in body temperature.
How to remove the hiccups in babies
Most home remedies – from holding your baby’s nose to giving him a little scare – are not only of dubious effectiveness but can be counterproductive and cause newborn crying.
Our advice if you want to reduce these episodes as much as possible is to try to avoid as much as possible the causes indicated in the previous section.
The importance of hiccups in brain development
This study by University College London has concluded that hiccups may play a role in the brain development of babies. The research was based on brain scans of newborns.
Kimberley Whitehead, head of the scientific team, said that although “the reasons why we have hiccups are not entirely clear,” it is likely that there is “a developmental reason, which would explain why newborns have hiccups so often.
The researchers concluded that “hiccups can help the baby’s brain learn to control breathing muscles”.
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