Pregnancy Health

Baby Hiccups In Utero

For the last few weeks one of my friends, who is a few weeks ahead of me, has been complaining about her growing baby getting fetal hiccups – 3 times a day.

36 week fetus

Up to this point, I thought she was crazy because I hadn’t experienced that could be considered ‘fetal hiccups’, until last night.

Pregnant women often mention feeling their baby having hiccups while in the womb and wonder what causes this. These hiccups can start in the first trimester, but won’t be felt by mom until late in the second trimester or during the third trimester. Rarely do the hiccups bother the mother-to-be, however some moms might worry that it is hurting their baby.

While the exact cause of baby’s hiccups is unknown, many specialists believe that they may be helping to strengthen the diaphragm muscle in order to help the baby breathe both in the womb and once they are born.

In many cases the baby will have the hiccups at the same time everyday.Not only can hiccups be felt by the mom-to-be, but it can also be detected during an ultrasound and picked up on a Doppler while at the doctor’s office for a routine visit. After a mom-to-be has been assured that these hiccups are normal and are not bothering their baby, then they become something that can be looked forward to on a daily basis, much like their baby kicking.

I am loving everything that my little monkey is up to. Now that I know what is happening, I too will be looking forward to hiccups as long as they don’t occur at 3am.

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About the author

Lisa Arneill

Founder of Growing Your Baby and World Traveled Family. Canadian mom of 2 boys, photo addict, lover of bulldogs, and museumgoer. Always looking for our next vacation spot!


  • My daughter always had the hiccups. I actually was worried when I didn’t feel them, of course they started getting on my nerves sometimes 🙂 She actually continued having the hiccups for a couple weeks after she was born.

  • My first two babies had hiccups all the time in utero, many times a day and that continued after they were born. Many times a day until they were over 1 at least. I’m pregnant with third child and he started hiccups later and doesn’t get them quite as often but at least 3 time a week.

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