Newborn Breathing Conditions What Are Newborn Breathing Conditions?
Newborns that struggle to breathe shortly after birth may have a breathing condition. There are many types of breathing problems that affect newborns, such as transient tachypnea of the newborn, neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), meconium aspiration syndrome, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, pneumonia, and apnea.
The type of breathing condition that a newborn has depends on the cause. Premature birth, especially before 32 weeks of pregnancy, commonly leads to respiratory distress syndrome in newborns. Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is when a baby born prematurely continues to require oxygen after reaching what would have been their 36th week of gestation.
If your healthcare provider is concerned that you may give birth several weeks before your due date, they may give you medicines called corticosteroids to help decrease the risk of breathing disorders for your newborn. After the baby is born, a provider will watch them closely for any symptoms of a breathing disorder, such as irregular breathing, grunting, or a bluish tint to the baby’s skin.
If your baby has any of these symptoms, providers must act quickly to find out what is wrong and begin treatment to help them breathe. Breathing support using a nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) device is very common. Often, newborn breathing conditions can be treated if they are found early. Most babies improve gradually in the days, weeks, and months that follow, when they get the right treatment and supervision.