Many track and field athletes are also parents. And just like any other parent, they also experience seeing their newborn suffer from hiccups. Although hiccups can also occur on adults, it is more common among children especially the newborns.
Hiccups are produced when the diaphragm repeatedly contracts. By themselves, they are just normal and can go away without you noticing. However, in some cases when hiccups become more frequent or when they are already causing a person or a newborn some discomfort, they may already be a symptom of a more serious health condition.
Normally, newborn hiccups are caused by overfeeding liquid or milk. They may also occur when the baby swallows more air during feeding. By making some adjustments on your feeding pattern as well as on how feeding is done, hiccups can be prevented.
Every time your baby has hiccups, keep track when they happen so that you can establish the pattern. Note down the time when the hiccups start and what the circumstances were before they happen such as drinking milk in the bottle or eating certain foods like mashed squash or mashed fruits. Note down also the duration and time for each episode of hiccups. When you have done monitoring for several weeks, you could then scan your notes for patterns. For example, you may notice that your baby gets hiccups after feeding at night or after eating mashed squash. Once you have established the pattern and know the possible reasons for your baby’s hiccups, you could now focus on preventive measures.
If the hiccups are caused by feeding, one preventive measure that you can do is to adjust the feeding schedule. For example, instead of feeding every six hours during nighttime for about 45 minutes every time, feed your baby every three hours with a shorter duration. Some studies show that hiccups are more likely to occur when the baby is overfed at one time. Their stomach can quickly distend causing their diaphragm to contract. With more frequent feedings for shorter duration, you can still give your child the right amount of food he or she needs without overfeeding.
Burping during and after feeding time is also important to avoid hiccups. If you are breastfeeding, pause for a while and burp your baby before switching breasts. If bottle-feeding, it is recommended to burp your baby after feeding about 60 ml of milk. Also don’t forget to let your baby burp after feeding.
Another common cause of hiccups among newborn is excessive swallowing of air during feeding. That is why you should listen carefully to gulping noises because your baby may be feeding too quickly and taking in more air than he or she should. When that happens, hiccups may occur.
Hiccups may be normal for newborns. However, if they are causing your baby sleepless nights and the frequency is beyond normal, it is best to see your doctor so that proper diagnosis of the underlying health condition can be detected and proper treatment could be administered.