Newborn Breathing: What is Normal & What Is Not

Parenting

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All newborn babies breathe faster than other children. Normal newborn breathing patterns typically are between 40-60 breaths per minute. Some babies have periodic breathing characterized by breathing fast and then slowing down for about 10 seconds. Dr. Katherine Rivera-Spoljaric, Pulmonologist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, describes newborn breathing and explains what is normal and what is not. Talk to your pediatrician immediately if your baby is breathing more than 60 breaths per minute, wheezing, whistling, or grunting while breathing, has discoloration on their skin/lips, and showing any signs of discomfort such as retractions by their windpipe or belly.

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The St. Louis Children’s Hospital YouTube station is intended as a reference and information source only. If you suspect you have a health problem, you should seek immediate care with the appropriate health care professionals. The information on this website is not a substitute for professional care, and must not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. For help finding a doctor, St. Louis Children’s Hospital Answer Line may be of assistance at 314.454.KIDS (5437). The opinions expressed in these videos are those of the individual writers, not necessarily St. Louis Children’s Hospital or Washington University School of Medicine. BJC HealthCare and Washington University School of Medicine assume no liability for the information contained in this website or for its use.

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