PARENTS

24 Weeks Pregnant: Cough Once For Yes, Twice For No

01/09/2013 23:34 | Updated 22 May 2015

On the subject of baby moving, whilst I can now feel him happily shifting about at different times during the day and night, this week I noticed something a bit strange. The other evening after I had eaten my dinner and was settled comfortably amongst a nest of pillows and cushions on the sofa, I became aware of a sort of rhythmic pulsing sensation in my bump. It was definitely the babe, and he wasn't moving around at all except for this regular beating movement. Surely it wasn't his heartbeat, as it seemed way too slow for the sounds I had heard on the Doppler?

Ever paranoid about new sensations not yet experienced, I immediately hauled myself up and out of my litter to the table where I keep my pregnancy and birth books and began to comb for an answer. To my relief, one was quickly forthcoming, and rather delightful. It would appear that my little unborn was experiencing a bout of the hiccups!

According to my books, hiccups are a way of your baby practicing his breathing. Of course, as there is no air in the womb, the baby is simply taking in and letting out amniotic fluids, but it's a good start for them to rehearse expanding and contracting their newly developing lungs for the real thing. I know how I can feel when I get the hiccups myself – it can be extremely frustrating, and even distressing if they last for more than a few minutes, but a good friend of mine later assured me that babies in and out of the womb are not as disturbed by them as we seem to be!

The best thing of all about these irregular bouts has been that P has finally been able to feel the little one when he touches my belly – at least I know now that when I start to detect these regular little jerks that they won't cease as soon as I tell him excitedly to, "Feel my bump, quick!"

Did you know what you were feeling when you felt your baby's first hiccups? How often did they occur?

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