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Hiccups

Hiccups

The most important thing to know about newborns’ hiccups is that they are normal.

Nearly all newborns hiccup, and nearly all did so before birth.

These hiccups are very different from the hiccups we experience.  Our hiccups are sort of irritating and often reflect some sort of irritation along our esophagus.

Not so our newborn’s hiccups.   These breathing jags reflect the developmental reality of muscle at birth.

Our muscles are made up two types of fibers, twitch and sustain fibers.  The twitch fibers allow us to lift heavy items quickly and for short bursts of time.  The sustain fibers allow us to carry loads for long times.  At birth most of the muscle fibers are twitch fibers, it’s one reason all the movements of newborns are so jagged and twitchy.

So, just as the arms are jerky, so are the muscles of breathing, hence, hiccups.

And, just as the twitchy motion of the arms and legs never bothers a newborn, neither do hiccups.