Hiccups are a consequence of involuntary contraction of the diaphragm, accompanied by rhythmic short-term respiratory cramps. Spasm of the respiratory tract entails a blockade of the glottis, because of which there are characteristic "hiccup" sounds.
This condition often occurs in infants. If it passes quickly and does not appear every day, it usually does not cause concern to the parents. Alertness should occur when a baby hiccups a few times a day, its seizures are cured and last longer than 20-30 minutes.
What reasons contribute to the appearance of hiccups, how to deal with it and when it is necessary to start to sound the alarm? Our article will give detailed answers to all these questions and help parents quickly and effectively cope with hiccups in newborns.
What arises and how to help?
The fact that a newborn hiccups can be caused by two types of reasons:
- Exogenous - occur due to the influence of external factors such as food, ambient temperature, stress.
- Endogenous - disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and nervous system.
Understanding why newborn babies hiccupy is necessary in order to identify possible pathologies and prevent their progression. For this we consider all the factors in more detail.
The most frequent hiccups in newborns after eating quite reasonably allows you to associate this symptom with the work of the gastrointestinal tract. At the same time, there are other reasons that contribute to the appearance of this unpleasant symptom. It is important for young parents to learn how to identify them in order to stop hiccups as soon as possible, because it can be quite exhausting.
- Air swallowing
Why newborn hiccups after feeding? The most common and harmless reason is the ingress of air into the digestive tract. This happens during a meal, regardless of the method of feeding.
Normally, some air always enters the stomach while eating, and usually it does not cause discomfort. The problem arises if too much air is swallowed: in this case, it begins to put pressure on the digestive sphincter located in the orifice of the diaphragm, which causes its contraction movement.
The factors that provoke the ingestion of air in excess of the physiological norm amount, lie in the violation of the feeding process. When breastfeeding it may be too weak mothers nipples. Milk flows through them so quickly that the child does not have time to swallow it, it chokes, chokes, coughs. Flowing milk through the mouth and nose is an additional sign that the baby does not cope with the volume of incoming food. If a similar situation occurs during artificial feeding - most likely, the problem lies in too large a nipple opening.
Your newborn after feeding, hiccups with enviable consistency? Try to make adjustments to the process of eating. Breastfeeding can be a change in posture for feeding: the mother can lie on her back or side, and this will slow down the flow of milk (what you need to pay attention to when feeding and how to properly attach the baby to the breast, read here).
Experiment. Since feeding often takes at least half an hour, it is very important that the pose is comfortable for both participants. This can be achieved experimentally with the help of pillows of various sizes and densities, which are enclosed under the back of the mother and between her legs, under the chest, under the child.
You can fight hiccups in newborns fed with artificial mixtures by buying a special physiological bottle. The shape of their nipple is close to the shape of the female nipple, which ensures a uniform flow of the mixture and allows you to control the flow of air into the gastrointestinal tract.
If the child often has hiccups and belching, this may indicate another common reason - overeating. It is more characteristic of artificial children, but can also occur during breastfeeding. Overeating is not necessarily chronic, quite often it is situational. The most likely causes are severe hunger and / or stress.
The actions aimed at ridding the newborn of hiccups in this case depend on the mode of feeding:
- for the artists - compliance with the regime;
- for babies - feeding on demand.
Why is this so important? The fact is that even the most advanced, adapted and approximate in composition to breast milk mixture is more caloric and therefore it is harder to digest by the imperfect digestive system of the newborn, and therefore it takes more time to digest it. If you feed the fancier before the previous portion of the mixture has been absorbed, the stomach will overflow, and this will provoke a partial regurgitation of food, which often entails hiccups.
How to feed a newborn with a mixture (in time and quantity)? Answers in our article on the link.
Count. The volume of the mixture for one feeding is calculated based on the age, weight and speed of the child gaining mass. For the timely correction of servings of children under one year, it is necessary to show the pediatrician monthly.
Completely different is the process of assimilation of food in infants. Being fed ideal food for them, they are more sensitive to hunger from birth and are able to independently control the amount of milk they need. Unlike an artificial artist, an infant can ask for a breast not only from hunger, but also from fear, boredom, thirst, but at the same time the volume of food eaten will not exceed the immediate need.
That is why feeding a baby on schedule is fraught with underfeeding. After a long break, a starved child under stress will eat too much milk, which can cause such an unpleasant symptom as hiccups after regurgitation.
- Post-meal position
Another reason that the newborn after bellowing belches and hiccups may be the wrong position of his body. Even with a perfectly organized process, air is swallowed together with milk or a mixture, which then exits through the esophagus and mouth cavity.
To remove hiccups from a newborn and prevent its occurrence, pediatricians recommend keeping it upright for 5–20 minutes after eating. This contributes to easier discharge of air and prevents the regurgitation of food.
If the newborn often has hiccups, but these attacks are not directly related to meals, the reason may be a slight dehydration. In infants, it appears less frequently (mainly on very hot summer days), since the mother’s milk contains enough liquid, so it is not recommended to drench them with water in the first months of life so as not to disturb the intestinal microflora.
But it is necessary for the artificialists to offer liquid. You can quickly stop hiccups in an artificially fed baby by offering him a bottle of water or special baby tea, which also has anti-tonic effect.
Slightly less often, hiccups are caused by hypothermia. The function of heat transfer at this age is not yet developed, therefore, sometimes due to inexperience, and sometimes from excessive zeal to tempering procedures, parents allow the baby's body temperature to drop. The result is a narrowing of the blood vessels throughout the body, contraction of the muscles, including the smooth muscles of the internal organs, and the spasms of the diaphragm that follow.
Determining that a newborn baby hiccups due to hypothermia is easy. It is enough to touch the arms and legs - if they are cold, then the baby is cold. To eliminate the cause, it is necessary to put another layer of clothing on him, take him in his arms, press him to his chest. The warmth of the mother’s body will quickly warm the baby, and he will stop hiccupping.
For reference. The optimum temperature of the room in which the newborn is located is 20-22 ° C. In such conditions, one layer of cotton clothing is enough. If the temperature in the room is lower, you should be guided by the tactile sensations and skin color - hands and feet should be warm, and the face and lips - a natural pink color without a bluish tint.
Nervous shock can provoke a contraction of the diaphragm even in a very small child. Such a reaction is most often caused by loud sounds, which include:
- working television;
- music included;
- screams, laughter;
- harsh car signal, etc.
This does not mean at all that it is necessary to tiptoe around and talk in a whisper around the child, because he is accustomed to the sounds of the environment in the womb. On the contrary, pediatricians recommend from birth to teach him to fall asleep and sleep under a moderate noise background. It is necessary to avoid only very sharp sounds that can frighten a baby, and not only in a dream.
What if this happened? You can soothe the hiccups from a newborn by taking it in your arms, shaking it. A breast can be offered a breast, an artificial artist can be offered some water. The nervous system of a small child is very labile, so he is able to quickly get excited, but also quickly calm down.
Pathology of the nervous system
The reason that the child often hiccups and belches can be not only the digestive factor, but also congenital pathologies of the nervous system.
Pathology can be distinguished by the following additional features:
- hiccups occur frequently (at least once a day) and last longer than half an hour;
- childbirth was protracted, pathological;
- the baby was born prematurely;
- he is restless, falls asleep heavily and does not sleep well, often cries, wakes up several times at night;
- lack of body weight (for example, due to malnutrition);
- too large fontanel;
- tremor of chin, arms, legs.
The presence of at least one of these symptoms is already a reason for referring to a pediatric neurologist; if there are several of them, a doctor should be visited as soon as possible. Most of the timely identified nervous diseases are successfully treated or amenable to significant correction.
Pathology of the digestive system
If parents think about why a newborn after hiccups has hiccups very often, they are surely suspected of having a serious digestive tract disorder.
As in the case of nerve pathologies, the accompanying symptoms should reinforce the suspicion:
- copious regurgitation, vomiting fountain;
- abdominal pain, manifested by pushing the legs and anxiety (cry, cry);
- frequent discharge of gases;
- weight loss;
- refusal to eat;
- constipation, diarrhea.
You can confirm or deny the presence of the disease by contacting a pediatrician who will prescribe the appropriate medical history. Even before receiving the results of the survey, drugs will be recommended, the purpose of which is to quickly help the newborn with hiccups and save him from other manifestations of the disease.
Hiccups in a dream
An attack of hiccups during sleep can cause any of the above reasons, but most often it is caused by hypothermia or regurgitation of food. If the baby hiccups in a dream, but does not wake up and does not show signs of anxiety, it is not necessary to wake him up specifically. It is enough to establish the cause (cold hands, milk running out of the mouth) and eliminate it.
Hiccup is a phenomenon that often accompanies young children due to the immaturity of the main systems that provide vital activity for the body.
Symptom of pathological changes is very rare and it is always supported by other signs of the disease, which are impossible not to notice, therefore in most cases an unscheduled pediatrician visit to determine the cause of hiccups is not required.