Hiccups are common in babies under one year old and are a normal, harmless nuisance caused by spasms in the diaphragm. Breastfeeding does not cause hiccups and it is safe to continue to breastfeed a baby who is hiccuping if they are happy to continue to nurse. In fact, breastfeeding can help stop hiccups in the same way as when an adult drinks water to stop their own hiccups. Hiccups will decrease in frequency and severity as both she and her digestive system mature. Some common causes of hiccups include:
- Overfeeding, so try slowing down feedings, giving small/more frequent feeds and burp your baby as you switch from one breast to the other.
- Swallowing air during feeding, so ensure your baby has a good latch and try positioning your baby upright during nursing. Also keep her upright for 20 minutes after feeding.
If your baby has persistent and excessive hiccups, she might have reflux.