The relationship between hiccups and heart rate in the fetus.
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of fetal hiccups on fetal heart rate from 20 weeks of gestation onward.
One thousand four hundred and fifty-six collected fetal heart rate tracings from three cohorts that participated in longitudinal studies of fetal neurobehavioral development were reviewed retrospectively for fetal hiccups. Tracings were recorded at four-week intervals from 20 weeks. A hiccup-free period before or after the episode of hiccups was used as the control fetal heart rate; thus each fetus was used as its own control. The paired t-test was used for statistical analysis.
From 28 weeks onward, the mean fetal heart rate increased with hiccups reaching statistical significance at 32 weeks. Fetal heart rate variability was unaffected by hiccups until 36 weeks, at which time it decreased during hiccup periods.
This change in response to fetal hiccups may represent another neurodevelopment milestone for the fetus.
- SourceAvailable from: Alec Ekeroma[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Maternal perception of decreased fetal movements has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, including stillbirth. Little is known about other aspects of perceived fetal activity. The objective of this study was to explore the relationship between maternal perception of fetal activity and late stillbirth (≥28 wk gestation) risk. Participants were women with a singleton, late stillbirth without congenital abnormality, born between July 2006 and June 2009 in Auckland, New Zealand. Two control women with ongoing pregnancies were randomly selected at the same gestation at which the stillbirth occurred. Detailed demographic and fetal movement data were collected by way of interview in the first few weeks after the stillbirth, or at the equivalent gestation for control women. A total of 155/215 (72%) women who experienced a stillbirth and 310/429 (72%) control group women consented to participate in the study. Maternal perception of increased strength and frequency of fetal movements, fetal hiccups, and frequent vigorous fetal activity were all associated with a reduced risk of late stillbirth. In contrast, perception of decreased strength of fetal movement was associated with a more than twofold increased risk of late stillbirth (aOR: 2.37; 95% CI: 1.29-4.35). A single episode of vigorous fetal activity was associated with an almost sevenfold increase in late stillbirth risk (aOR: 6.81; 95% CI: 3.01-15.41) compared with no unusually vigorous activity. Our study suggests that maternal perception of increasing fetal activity throughout the last 3 months of pregnancy is a sign of fetal well-being, whereas perception of reduced fetal movements is associated with increased risk of late stillbirth.Birth 12/2011; 38(4):311-6. · 2.93 Impact Factor