Like several other problems that appear during the first trimester in pregnant women, hiccups are one of them. Though not as significant as other problems, hiccups during pregnancy can bother women to a great extent.
From making it uncomfortable to making it difficult to eat, hiccups can be tiring and irritating if they drag for a long time.
Though some people think that hiccups during pregnancy are a good sign, in a way that everything during pregnancy is considered a good omen, they sure are annoying.
What are the Causes of Hiccups?
Hiccups are caused by the spasmodic contraction of a muscle in your chest area, known as the diaphragm, which causes an involuntary action.
Hiccups are often caused by eating and drinking too quickly or too much. You can also get them if you laugh while you eat or drink.
There can be many reasons behind your constant hiccups. Indigestion is a common culprit, as well as shortness of breath. Here we discuss a few of them:
1. Change in Breathing Pattern
When you’re pregnant, you draw in more air through your lungs than normal. Pregnancy entails a greater demand for oxygen in your body. So your lungs accommodate by drawing in more air, supposedly 30-40% more.
This excess inhaling and exhaling allow your pregnant body to function normally. This change in your breathing pattern might be the reason behind your constant, nagging hiccups.
The physiological changes in the abdomen during pregnancy can also cause hiccups.
Sometimes, your mind is aware of a particular thing, and when you pay attention to your breathing patterns more, you might feel that you have a hiccup. This might cause hiccups, to prolong.
Being more observant and concerned about small discrepancies like hiccups will extend it further. As most hiccups disappear without any deliberate treatment, all you need to do is stop becoming hyper-aware and start to think less concerned.
Baby Hiccups: What are Fetal Hiccups?
Does your baby hiccup too? There is no need to panic. This is a completely natural and common phenomenon.
Fetal hiccups are caused because your baby is breathing in the amniotic fluid found in your womb. This fluid enters the fetus’s lungs, and the diaphragm is contracted to get it out. Hence, the hiccups.
When your baby hiccups, you will feel continuous, small jerks akin to the heartbeats you are used to. This can go on for more than an hour.
Pregnant mothers will feel their baby hiccup frequently during the last trimester. This is common in all babies, and there is no need for concern as it signifies that your little one is doing just fine.
Fetal hiccups also occur during the first or second trimester, but mothers are less likely to feel these during the early stages.
Hiccups are common in newborns too.
Should You Be Worried?
Your hiccups may advance as your pregnancy does. Normally, there is nothing to worry about hiccups as they aren’t threatening to you or your baby.
However, if you feel this is more serious and unusual, you should seek medical attention. It is always the wiser choice to be cautious when you are pregnant.
There are medications that you can take in the case of excessive hiccups. But, you absolutely must consult your doctor first before taking any medications.
How to Get Rid of Hiccups during Pregnancy?
Many easy tricks can help you get rid of these annoying discrepancies. You can find several easy-to-do home remedies on the internet. To save you from tiresome remedy sleuthing, here are a few tricks from around the web.
Try some tips below; hopefully, you’ll be free of hiccups!
1. Drink Water
This is obvious to everyone who gets the hiccups. Drinking water is the most effective way to remedy hiccups. You should drink an entire glass of water in a single turn if you want this to work. Smaller gulps of water usually don’t work for some people. Some people also find it effective to gargle water.
Another trick is to drink water while plugging your ears. Drink water with a straw while plugging both ears.
2. Hold Your Breath
Slowly inhale deeply and hold it for some time. Exhale slowly and repeat until the hiccups stop. It is supposed that breathing into a paper bag is also effective. But don’t put the bag over your head. It can get stuffy in there.
3. Sugar Under Your Tongue
Raise your tongue and put a spoonful of sugar under it. Wait for it to dissolve and swallow the sugary liquid.
4. Pull Out Your Tongue
This trick is also known to do magic. You will look stupid while doing this, and people may take offense if you do it in public, but at least you get rid of the devils. Stick out your tongue as far as you can. This helps to ease the diaphragm.
5. Suck on a Wedge of Lime
Slice a lime and put the wedge in your mouth. You can also make a concoction of lime, ginger, and honey. Make sure you gulp it in one go.
Everyone has their troubles with hiccups. But during pregnancy, when there’s a baby in question, this might cause unnecessary and heightened worry for the mother. There isn’t a need for panic.
You can use many tricks similar to these to rid yourself of hiccups. But, if you think it’s a serious complication, you should not hesitate to consult your doctor.
Dr. Mashiach has completed his MD at the Sackler School of Medicine, TAU; specialization in gynecology at the Lis Maternity and Women’s Hospital, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center; fellowship in Endoscopy at the Polyclinique de I’Hotel-Dieu, Universite d’Auvergne, Clermont, France.
He is a Senior Physician, Director of the Department of Gynecology, which provides routine and preventative care services to its patients and a full range of gynecological surgical procedures for adequately managing its patients with benign gynecologic disorders.
He offers advanced care in all gynecological subspecialties such as Urogynecology, Colposcopy, Fetal Loss Clinic, and Post Menopausal Clinic.