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Rapid Breathing in Newborns

Transient tachypnea of the newborn (TTNB) can occur in both full-term and pre-term babies. All babies have liquid-filled lungs prior to birth. As part of normal labor, some of this fluid begins to be pumped out of the baby’s lungs prior to birth. In the absence of normal labor, this will not occur. After birth, this pumping action in the lungs continues.

If the pumping does not take place in a normal manner during and after labor, breathing difficulties will occur. This will show up as rapid breathing or very noisy breathing. Some babies will have low oxygen levels as a result. This condition usually improves after a few hours. However, it may require significant treatment in order to speed up the recovery.