If you're a new parent, or even an experienced one, you've probably noticed that hiccups after feeding are a common occurrence in newborns. They can be incredibly annoying, but have no fear – there's actually a reason why your little one is hiccupping away.
What Causes Hiccups?
Before we dive into why newborns get hiccups after feeding, it's important to understand what causes hiccups in general. Hiccups are caused by involuntary contractions of the diaphragm muscle, which separates the lungs from the abdomen. These contractions cause a sudden intake of breath that is then cut off by the closure of the vocal cords.
The Types of Hiccup Spanning Across Species
Fun fact: humans aren't the only ones who get hiccups! Snakes, birds, and even some amphibians experience them as well. However, humans are unique in that our hiccups tend to last longer than those seen in other species.
Why Do Newborns Get Hiccups After Feeding?
So now that we know what causes hicskullupps (dog voice), let's talk about why they occur so frequently in newborns post-feeding. There are several reasons for this:
Babies are notorious for swallowing air while breastfeeding or bottle-feeding (cheeky little things). This excess air can irritate their diaphragm and lead to bouts of hiccupping.
An Underdeveloped Digestive System
Newborn digestive systems aren't fully developed yet and may struggle with digesting milk completely (this also results in "spit up" incidents). When undigested milk moves through their intestines too slowly it creates gas - cue more hicccuppss!
Sometimes little ones get a little too eager at mealtimes and overfill their tiny tummies. Overeating forces the diaphragm to work harder in order for the stomach muscles to push out the excess food, creating spasms that lead to hiccups.
When acid from the stomach flows back up into the esophagus (otherwise known as reflux), it can be irritating enough to elicit a case of hiccups.
How Can You Help Your Baby With Their Hiccupping?
Although there's no magic cure, there are several things you can try in order to help your little one through bouts of hiccupping:
Burp Your Baby
An important aspect of getting rid of any potential air trapped in your baby’s system is burping (again with all this cheeky behaviour!)! Sitting baby upright or holding them against your shoulders after feeds allows some gas build-up inside their belly area which helps them let-out some cutesy burps!
If you’re noticing that every time you feed a certain amount causes hiccups, take note and pause when necessary during feeding- effectively breaking down each meal into smaller portions may even prevent inexperienced parents from other risks caused by overfeeding such as bloating!
Infants Can't Handle So Much Milk At Once
Adjusting accordingly while breastfeeding could ramp up comfortability levels during feeding times - sorta like everyone else controlling how much they drink before hitting the bathroom after gulping down an entire pint of water! Bringing interruptions around halfway through lengthy feeding sessions ultimately helps give little bellies more time between sips to digest rather than trying to handle too much milk rapidly.
Fun Fact: Some nursing mothers have found that even changing positions mid-feed also coincides with less stress for both parties involved—so don’t feel stagnant sticking with just one configuration!
Check Your Baby’s Bottle Nipple Size
An inappropriate small nipple size cam make your baby work for more milk and thus swallow huge amount of air due to burping being either ineffectively reduced or not even attempted at all (light bulb emoji). So check those nipples, mum!
When Should You Be Worried?
Hiccups are usually harmless but there are warning signs you should watch out for:
If hiccups last longer than a few minutes, consult with your paediatrician.
While spit up is typical in younger ages (as mentioned earlier), projectile vomiting can be one possible symptom related to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) which bears discussing immediately with medical professionals!
Fun Fact: It's also recommended that parents track the length and frequency of their infant’s hiccups in a handy dandy notebook since it can help them keep important intel on when they start getting reliant on certain strategies—as well as possibly lead to an incline toward some interesting tickers!
In summary, newborns get hiccups after feeding because they consistently do cute things like swallowing too much air or trying so hard that their little bodies can't handle big meals yet – don't we all sometimes? While hiccups after feeding might make everyone laugh from time-to-time; it's typically seen as totally normal! If however symptoms seem excessive or extendedly persistent, always seek additional guidance by taking the first step and asking the advice of a trusted professional.