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Breathing Problems

What might breathing problems indicate in a newborn?

Babies breathe much faster than older children and adults. A newborn's normal breathing rate is about 40 times each minute. This may slow to 20 to 40 times per minute when the baby is sleeping. The pattern of breathing in a baby may also be different. A baby may breathe fast several times, then have a brief rest for less than 10 seconds, than breathe again. This is often called periodic breathing and is a normal occurrence. Babies normally use their diaphragm (the large muscle below the lungs) for breathing.

Changes in a baby's breathing rate or pattern, using other muscles and parts of the chest to breathe, or changes in color may mean the baby is having respiratory distress and needs immediate medical attention.

Signs of respiratory problems may include, but are not limited to, the following:

For any sign of respiratory problems, you should consult your baby's physician immediately.

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501 6th Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
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