Do You Know This Sign of Breathing Difficulties in Babies?

Do You Know This Sign of Breathing Difficulties in Babies?

When a mummy noticed her newborn was breathing in a very strange way, she knew something was wrong.

The symptoms of respiratory illnesses are harsh in general. But when a baby contracts such an illness — like bronchiolitis — the outcome can be very serious if not diagnosed and treated properly. The problem is, symptoms of respiratory illnesses can be sneaky, especially in babies. This is why one mum wants to educate all parents on a subtle, and perhaps overlooked sign of breathing difficulties in babies, that is an indication of potential complications. 

Do You Know This Sign of Breathing Difficulties in Babies?

Image source: iStock

Breathing Difficulties In Babies Highlights Sneaky Flu Symptom

At the time, four-week-old Luna, Charlie’s baby, was breathing rather unusually. The mum noted that she was breathing more rapidly than normal and her nostrils widened a lot.

When she undressed the baby, it was clear there was something wrong: baby Luna’s


According to Dr Kristin Dean, the Associate Medical Director from Doctor on Demand, the specific way Luna was breathing is called retractions.

Retractions happen when a baby has to work their rib or neck muscles to breathe, which “

Breathing Difficulties in Babies: How it all started

Two days ago, before the video was shot, Charlie realised that Luna was ill while they were in a newborn photoshoot.

The worried mum brought her to the hospital, being

 It was only when she took off her onesie did she realise something was wrong. 

She recalls the incident:

Sucking in at ribs is a sign to get your baby or child to hospital.

She had bronchiolitis and her oxygen levels were very low. Luckily after a night on oxygen, she made a very good recovery.”

Bronchiolitis happens when the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infects the airways. The disease presents with minor symptoms similar to the cold in both adults and older children. However, for babies bronchiolitis can be severe and potentially life-threatening.

RSV is an ordinary germ that scatters itself in the environment via tiny droplets when people cough or sneeze. The virus also spreads when you touching a patient infected with it or an object contaminated by it.

Why she took the video in the first place

Charlie later explains why she took the video at all. She was waiting for Britain’s National Health Service to call back after reaching out via their helpline. It was during this time that she recorded the video so that doctors in the hospital would be able to better diagnose little Luna. However, she says that she should have done something else: 

Charlie’s quick thinking gave Luna 

breathing difficulties in babies

O’Brien and her 1-year-old daughter, who is now healthy and happy, Luna.

Experts praise O’Brien’s actions, saying the key is to stay calm

If parents notice similar breathing in their babies, Dr Dean recommends they consult a medical professional instantly. “

Diana Spalding, a pediatric nurse, also agrees. She advises parents to remain calm if they do notice retractions, and to call the emergency hotline if their baby wheezes, gasps, change colour or has bad retractions.

In addition to not panicking, Spalding says that listening to yourself is also just as important.

Parents, do remember to always seek medical advice should you find something abnormal with your little one. Don’t be afraid to trust your instincts!


Also read:

Pregnancy and pollution – your child’s at risk

Here’s why you must give your child the flu vaccine every year…

Mums, are you sure your child is breathing clean air at home?

Baby stops breathing because of car seat straps, mum has this warning

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