Hiccups are involuntary contractions of the diaphragm. A characteristic sound, which is heard at the same time, arises due to the fact that the vocal cords abruptly close.
The hiccup after feeding is most pronounced in a newborn baby, which is particularly sensitive.
Often convulsive movements occur after feeding. Let us determine why a newborn baby can often hiccup after breastfeeding or eating food from a bottle.
Causes of hiccups after feeding
Consider how and why a newborn may develop hiccups after feeding. As a rule, hiccups are a natural reaction of the baby’s body, usually they pass on their own, without causing much concern.
Most often, hiccups appear in children up to a year old, are associated with the features of the functioning of the digestive tract and are considered not a pathological, but a physiological phenomenon.
However, there are a number of reasons that can cause prolonged, persistent hiccups in newborns after feeding is completed.
Aerophagy – accidental ingestion of air by a child with food. When sucking, a certain amount of gas enters the baby’s stomach, with bloating. Air that presses on the diaphragm disrupts normal breathing and causes hiccups. This is the most common mechanism for developing hiccups.
In some cases, the severity of aerophagy is significantly enhanced:
- with a rush of milk in the mother;
- with improper attachment of the chest or bottle;
- with too large a hole in the neck of the nipples.
Overfeeding is a condition that leads to an extension of the baby’s stomach and a change in intra-abdominal pressure. The further development mechanism is similar to that with aerophagy – pathological pressure on the diaphragm occurs and hiccups appear.
Overfeeding can be caused by several reasons:
- Feeding is not on demand, but on schedule. If a small portion of milk is stretched for a long period of time, then at the next feeding, a starving child will drink milk with greed and suck out too much. Excess volume will stretch the walls of the organ, and after eating, the newborn will begin to hiccup.
- Too much milk from the mother. As you know, milk is divided into back and front. The portion that is located behind is more caloric and nutritious. If the mother has too much milk, then the baby drinks mainly the front portion, only at the end of feeding receiving a more nutritious back. By this moment, it may well be full.
- Flatulence. Up to 3 months in a baby, the intestines are still in the formative stage. Therefore, excessive accumulation of gas in the lumen of the organ leads to the appearance of hiccups, as well as the development of pain – intestinal colic.
To make sure that after eating frequent hiccups in newborns arise due to overfeeding, you can slightly reduce the amount of milk that the baby eats at a time. The disappearance of an unpleasant symptom suggests that the diet should be adjusted.
Even with all the recommendations for feeding the baby, hiccups may occur. This is due to its coincidence with food intake.
Other causes of hiccups include:
- Powerful emotions. The excited state of the child (for example, due to severe fright) leads to spasm of the diaphragm due to the instability of the nervous system of the child;
- The baby is cold. Hypothermia often occurs due to the fact that the child’s body is unable to fully ensure the functioning of the thermoregulation system. In this case, it is enough to touch the handles of the baby – if they are cold, then there is probably a general hypothermia, which means that the child needs to be warmed.
How to help a newborn?
Consider what should be done when hiccups appear in newborns after feeding. If you notice that the baby began to hiccup, you need to temporarily stop feeding, place it in an upright position, hug and calm. You can massage the baby’s tummy – this will help to quickly get rid of gas in the stomach.
Another effective way is to cause burping in a newborn with the help of specially developed techniques. After the unpleasant symptom disappears, you can continue feeding.
If a newborn baby constantly hiccups after each breastfeeding or meal from a bottle, it is immediately clear what needs to be done: it is worth feeding it more often, but in smaller portions.
A prolonged attack of hiccups can be eliminated by giving a newborn a bottle of warm water.
It is also important to establish why a newborn baby often spits up and hiccups – due to feeding with milk or after consuming the mixture. Perhaps he has intolerance to the components of the mixture, which is why hiccups appear.
It is also necessary to avoid hypothermia of the baby, because this is the cause of hiccups. If during a walk the child began to hiccup, then you need to immediately return home and wrap him in warm clothes. Hiccups should be given great importance in stressful situations. In this case, you need to calm the newborn, hug, pat on the head.
In what cases should you contact a specialist
If the baby hiccups while feeding and begins to behave uneasily, then this process hurts him. Another sign indicating the complexity of the pathological process is the long duration of the attacks.
In the presence of these signs, you should immediately consult a doctor, since persistent painful hiccups can be a symptom of serious pathologies. It is necessary to undergo an examination at the pediatrician and pass a few tests. Timely diagnosis of diseases in newborns is very important, since they carry all the unpleasant symptoms much more complicated than adults.
To prevent hiccups, you need to follow simple rules:
- when feeding a newborn, position it vertically or with a slight slope;
- Do not place the baby on your back immediately after eating;
- do not overfeed the baby;
- avoid noise while feeding – this can distract the newborn;
- make sure that the hole in the nipple is not too large;
- adjust your diet – if the mother eats a lot of legumes, citrus fruits, cabbage, then this can cause active gas formation in the intestines of the child;
- achieve belching after eating, as well as when there is unreasonable anxiety and mobility of the newborn when feeding – immediately after the baby has eaten, take it upright and hold it in this position for several minutes.
Hiccups in infants during feeding can be caused by many different reasons. In most cases, it occurs due to air entering the stomach or active gas formation in the intestine. However, painful hiccups can be a sign of disease, so it is important to recognize such a violation in a timely manner and consult a doctor.