healthy pregnancy tips

Are Baby Hiccups Normal In The Womb?

Babies in the womb are extremely curious beings who pose quite a few wonders to the world. They can do so many things in there and we have only recently begun to discover exactly what these little miracles are capable of pulling off. Pregnancy is all about changes and experiencing completely new things. Every experience is weird for a first-time mom. Your baby is going to kick you, jab you, and occasionally have hiccups as well. It is all part of the adventure that you are on together.

A brief insight into what’s happening with your baby in there:

Developmental milestones are not just an afterbirth thing. They happen right within the womb. You will be surprised to know that your baby undergoes quite a few milestones before they are ready to step out into the world. Every milestone is important. They play a major role in helping your baby survive the world they are soon going to be part of.

You do not get to witness or sense many of the milestones that happen within the womb. However, some are more evident. For instance, when your baby is between 18 and 20 weeks old, you can sense them beginning to move for the first time. This is a process called quickening. During subsequent pregnancies, you will be better at recognizing fetal movement and will identify it quicker. Your baby will do everything in there- kick you, nudge you and roll around.

Hiccups: When Do They Start?

Most mothers report experiencing their baby hiccup for the first time around the sixth month of pregnancy. It is difficult to distinguish between a hiccup and a kick the first time around but there are some strong differences. Some mothers experience it every day up until 32 weeks of pregnancy. Following this period, things get more stable there. Science attributes hiccups to lung development and the different stages of the same.

Are baby hiccups normal in the womb?

Babies hiccuping in the womb is entirely normal, up to 32 weeks of age. After this period, you should not be experiencing frequent hiccups from your baby. Inform your doctor if your baby has hiccups every day after this point. Also watch out for the duration of the hiccups- if they last longer than 15 minutes, it might be cause for alarm. If your baby is experiencing multiple series of hiccups (more than thrice in one day), then it is cause for concern. Other than this, hiccups are completely normal in unborn babies and perfectly harmless.

Hiccups vs Kicks: How Can You Tell?

Initially, it is difficult to tell the difference because you don’t know what to expect. However, if you pay careful attention, you notice that babies’ hiccups are more rhythmic and pulsating in nature. However, the major difference is that you are not able to influence hiccups, unlike kicks. Your baby actively responds to you through kicks. We can even say they communicate through them. If you move your position or eat something they like (or dislike), you can feel them responding through kicks and other movements. However, hiccups are autonomous and not something babies or adults can control. After a while when the phenomenon becomes more regular, you get used to it and stop bothering much.


In conclusion; fetal hiccups are completely normal during the second trimester of your pregnancy and early parts of the third trimester. If you feel that the frequency is high, or the nature of hiccups has changed, consult your doctor. Most incidents of hiccups are normal in babies.