Scientists May Have Figured Out Why Humans Hiccup by Studying Newborn Babies

Scientists May Have Figured Out Why Humans Hiccup by Studying Newborn Babies

Have you ever wondered why humans hiccup? New research conducted by the University College London found that hiccuping helps newborns regulate their breathing.

Researchers studied brain activity in newborns and found that they typically spend about 15 minutes a day hiccuping. They also found that fetuses start hiccuping at around nine weeks, making that one of the earliest things babies can do in the womb.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: A Recent Study Reveals Premature Babies Are Less Likely to Become Parents or Have Romantic Relationships

Why Do Humans Hiccup? Scientists Study Newborn Babies to Find Out

“The reasons for why we hiccup are not entirely clear, but there may be a developmental reason, given that fetuses and newborn babies hiccup so frequently,” Kimberley Whitehead, the study’s lead author, said in a press release.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: If You Have a Teen, Check Your Screen Time Rules Says Science

Researchers attached electrodes to the babies’ heads in order to gather the research. Whenever a baby hiccupped, there was a “pronounced response to the brain’s cortex – two large brainwaves followed by a third,” the study found.

Scientists May Have Figured Out Why Humans Hiccup by Studying Newborn Babies
CREDIT: Shutterstock

“The activity resulting from a hiccup may be helping the baby’s brain to learn how to monitor the breathing muscles so that eventually breathing can be voluntarily controlled by moving the diaphragm up and down,” Lorenzo Fabrizi, one of the authors, said in a press release.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Science Says: This Is Why the Parents of Middle-Schoolers Are the Most Likely to Be Depressed

The study couldn’t answer why adults continue to hiccup but surmised it’s most likely a leftover reflex from childhood.

About Mamas Uncut

Mamas Uncut is the place for moms online. We cover the latest news around motherhood and parenting, plus entertainment news as well – all with a mom-focused twist. Looking for parenting advice? We have plenty of it, all for moms, from moms. Our mission is focused solely on empowering moms and moms-to-be with the knowledge and answers they’re looking for. We don’t stop there though, we have expert advice on a range of topics, and all of our categories get updated multiple times a day, so if there’s one website for moms you need to bookmark, it’s Mamas Uncut. We cover it all, from the latest and trendiest baby names, in the US and all over the world, to advice for moms in the workplace, or mom to mom advice on balancing it all. Looking for an answer to a specific question you’ve have? Head over to our new answers section, where you can ask questions on a nearly endless amount of topics, and you’ll get answers fast – really fast. Mamas Uncut is more than just the place for moms, it’s the community of moms – all here to help, make friends, and more. Not sure where to start? Take a look at one of our key topic areas like Pregnancy or Relationships – if you’re looking for advice on a specific topic, there’s a pretty good chance that we’ve already written on it (a few times), or that it’s within our answers section. If you don’t have time to read the site every day, we also have a newsletter that you can control how often you want to receive – that way we send all of the must-see content for moms directly to your inbox – it’s that easy. So go ahead and take a look around, ask a question, or just keep reading, we’re glad you’re here.

Leave a Comment