Transient tachypnea of the newborn (TTN) is a very fast breathing rate at birth or in the first few hours of life.
A baby’s lungs are filled with fluid during pregnancy. TTN happens when newborns do not clear this fluid after being born. This limits the amount of oxygen a baby can breathe and causes them to breathe faster. It is not known why this happens.
TTN is more common in newborn boys, large babies, and premature babies. Other things that may raise the risk are:
- Birth by Cesarean section with or without labor
- Diabetes or asthma in the mother
- Being pregnant with more than one baby
TTN may cause:
- Fast, difficult breathing
- Grunting or moaning sounds when breathing out
- Flared nostrils
- A chest that sinks in between the ribs with each breath
- Skin around the mouth and nose that is blue in color
The doctor will look at your pregnancy and labor history. A physical exam of the baby will be done.
An oxygen sensor may be placed on the baby's foot to find out how much oxygen is making it into the blood from the lungs. A chest x-ray may be done to look for signs of fluid.
TTN may not be diagnosed until the symptoms go away. This may not be until three days after birth.
Babies usually get better within three days of birth. The goal of treatment is supportive care and monitoring. This can be done with:
- Oxygen or breathing support
- Fluids and nutrition by IV or a feeding tube in the nose
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Kari Kassir, MD
- Review Date: 09/2019 -
- Update Date: 01/07/2020 -