Is this normal?
I have a 3 weeks and 3 days old newborn baby and I have this concern regarding his breathing. Some says its normal but I want to seek an answer from a professional regarding this matter. The thing is my baby breathes fast for a couple of seconds then he stops breathing the next and then he'll breathe fast again. I don't know if its normal or it could be a sign that he has breathing problems that could lead to illness. I don't want to think about the latter so hope you could help me and enlighten me about it. Thank you very much.
I'm going to ask our resident midwife, Jane (also the owner of this site) to take a look at your question and give you her thoughts. She is around newborns all the time so she's seen many different babies, and what their breathing patterns are after birth.
You had a baby 7 years ago, so you are already somewhat familiar with what a "normal" breathing pattern is for a baby. You may want to have your Paediatrician take a look at the baby and make sure the lungs sound good and the heart sounds good. When babies are born, the practitioner will hear what sounds like a "murmur" when they listen to the baby's heart. This is absolutely normal because there is a blood vessel in the heart that must be open while the baby is in the womb. The name of this is this vessel is the Ductus Arteriosis.
After birth, the Ductus Arteriosis closes within a few hours, or sometimes it can take up to a few days. If the Ductus Arteriosis remains open (patent) the baby then has a PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus). PDA can strain the heart and increase blood pressure in the lung arteries.
PDA is actually a fairly common congenital heart defect, and though it can affect full term infants, it more often affects premature infants.
My 3rd baby was born with a congenital heart defect (Tetralogy of Fallot) so I just feel it's important to have a practitioner look at the child's breathing and listen to his heart and lungs so you're sure to rule out any possible problems. In our situation, the doctor listened to our baby's heart a week after birth, and still heard a "murmur" and wanted to be sure it wasn't anything to be concerned about, so he sent us to a Paediatric Cardiologist. We were thankful that he did because it ended up being something that needed immediate attention (our child did wonderfully well and is now 14 years old with no restrictions).
I will be interested to see what Jane has to say. When was the last time your practitioner saw your baby and did he/she listen to the baby's heart and lungs?
Hi Newmumafter7 - A newborn baby's breathing pattern can be fast and slow - particularly when they are brand new. A baby will breathe between 30 and 60 breaths per minute when quiet. I agree with Kate - if you have any concerns about your baby's breathing contact your midwife or doctor. Has your baby had a full baby check up which includes listening to baby's heart and lungs when the baby is 4 days or older?
Sorry I wasn't able to reply back ASAP but thanks to both of you. We went to the doctor a few days ago and he told us that the baby is fine. The breathing pattern our baby has is normal for newborn babies and we don't have to worry about it. The doctor fully checked the baby and he only prescribed another vitamin for the baby to take.
@Kate: It's been seven years since I first gave birth and I totally forgot about how my eldest breathes at that time. She seems normal to me and she was healthy all the way until now.
Again, thank you very much.
Hi Newmumafter7 - I am glad that everything is okay.
I remember what it was like having a newborn (5 times) and every single time, it seemed like I was concerned about something. I think it's just motherly love and concern for our children and wanting to be sure that bub is healthy.
I'm glad your mind has now been put at ease. That's so important so that you can now relax and enjoy this time of bonding with your new little one.