Breathing problems and premature babiesBBreathing problems and premature babiesBreathing problems and premature babiesEnglishNeonatology;RespiratoryPremature;Newborn (0-28 days);Baby (1-12 months)LungsRespiratory systemConditions and diseasesPrenatal Adult (19+)NA2009-10-31T04:00:00ZAndrew James, MBChB, MBI, FRACP, FRCPCJaques Belik, MD, FRCPC10.000000000000060.0000000000000304.000000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Learn about the premature lungs, which are among the last organs to develop in the womb. Read about lung problems the premature infant may encounter.</p><p>While in the womb, a fetus’s oxygen needs are met by the mother. Blood is pumped by the baby’s heart through the umbilical cord arteries to the placenta where oxygen is extracted from the mother’s blood as it passes by the placenta. The maternal and fetal blood systems are separate. It is only oxygen that passes from maternal blood vessels to placental blood vessels by a process called diffusion. The umbilical cord vein delivers oxygenated blood to the fetus’s heart, where it is then pumped to the rest of the body.</p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul>A baby's lungs do not start working until after birth and are slower to develop to maturity. <li>Premature babies often have some trouble breathing after birth; the more premature they are, the more difficulty they will have.</li> <li>The majority of premature babies with lung complications survive, most without severe lasting effects.</li> <li>Lung complications can also occur because of fluid in the lung, infection, abnormal development or poor gas exchange.</li></ul>
Troubles respiratoires et les bébés prématurésTTroubles respiratoires et les bébés prématurésBreathing problems and premature babiesFrenchNeonatology;RespiratoryPremature;Newborn (0-28 days);Baby (1-12 months)LungsRespiratory systemConditions and diseasesPrenatal Adult (19+)NA2009-10-31T04:00:00ZAndrew James, MBChB, MBI, FRACP, FRCPCJaques Belik, MD, FRCPC10.000000000000060.0000000000000304.000000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Renseignez-vous au sujet des poumons prématurés, qui font partie des organes qui se développent en dernier dans l’utérus. Apprenez-en davantage sur les troubles associés aux poumons dont peuvent souffrir les prématurés.<br></p><p>Pendant qu’il est dans l’utérus, c’est la mère qui répond au besoin en oxygène du fœtus. Le cœur du bébé pompe le sang par les artères du cordon ombilical jusqu’au placenta où l’oxygène est extrait du sang de la mère qui circule dans le placenta. Les systèmes d’approvisionnement en sang de la mère et du fœtus sont distincts. C’est seulement l’oxygène qui circule des vaisseaux sanguins de la mère à ceux du placenta à l’aide d’un processus appelé la diffusion moléculaire. La veine du cordon ombilical transmet le sang oxygéné au cœur du fœtus, qui pompe ensuite le sang au reste de l’organisme. </p><h2>À retenir</h2> <ul><li>Les poumons d’un bébé ne commencent à fonctionner qu’après la naissance et ils atteignent leur maturité plus lentement.</li> <li>Les bébés prématurés ont souvent des difficultés à respirer après la naissance; plus ils sont prématurés, plus leurs difficultés seront grandes.</li> <li>La majorité des bébés prématurés atteints de troubles pulmonaires survivent, la plupart sans graves répercussions.</li> <li>Les troubles pulmonaires peuvent aussi survenir en raison de la présence de fluide dans les poumons, d’une infection, d’une anomalie de développement ou d’un échange gazeux insuffisant.</li></ul>

 

 

Breathing problems and premature babies1763.00000000000Breathing problems and premature babiesBreathing problems and premature babiesBEnglishNeonatology;RespiratoryPremature;Newborn (0-28 days);Baby (1-12 months)LungsRespiratory systemConditions and diseasesPrenatal Adult (19+)NA2009-10-31T04:00:00ZAndrew James, MBChB, MBI, FRACP, FRCPCJaques Belik, MD, FRCPC10.000000000000060.0000000000000304.000000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Learn about the premature lungs, which are among the last organs to develop in the womb. Read about lung problems the premature infant may encounter.</p><p>While in the womb, a fetus’s oxygen needs are met by the mother. Blood is pumped by the baby’s heart through the umbilical cord arteries to the placenta where oxygen is extracted from the mother’s blood as it passes by the placenta. The maternal and fetal blood systems are separate. It is only oxygen that passes from maternal blood vessels to placental blood vessels by a process called diffusion. The umbilical cord vein delivers oxygenated blood to the fetus’s heart, where it is then pumped to the rest of the body.</p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul>A baby's lungs do not start working until after birth and are slower to develop to maturity. <li>Premature babies often have some trouble breathing after birth; the more premature they are, the more difficulty they will have.</li> <li>The majority of premature babies with lung complications survive, most without severe lasting effects.</li> <li>Lung complications can also occur because of fluid in the lung, infection, abnormal development or poor gas exchange.</li></ul><h2>Lung development</h2><p>In the womb, the fetus’s lungs are filled with fluid. They are not used for breathing, but are developing and getting ready for baby’s first breath after birth. Compared to other organs such as the heart and kidneys, which are already functional in the womb, the lungs will not start working until after birth and are slower to develop to maturity. By the 24th week of pregnancy or so, most of the basic parts of the lung have developed, but it is not until the 37th week that the lung could be considered fully mature and ready to function on its own. </p><p>A baby’s first breath is dramatic, and sets off rapid changes: the lungs inflate for the first time and fill air sacs within the lungs, which help keep them from completely deflating when the baby breathes out. Blood flow, no longer needed to carry oxygen from the placenta, is redirected to the lungs and gas exchange begins. The process is quick and probably the most dramatic change for the baby. Think of how much more effort it takes to blow up a brand new balloon compared to one that has been previously inflated. A baby’s first breath will be their most difficult for the rest of their life. </p><h2>The immature lung</h2><p>Given the incomplete development of the lungs in the womb, premature babies often have some trouble breathing after birth. The level of difficulty a baby has is usually related to their gestational age: the more premature they are, the more likely they are to need assistance. In some cases, the effort required to breathe is still too much for a baby, or the lungs may not have had time to develop enough to prevent lung collapse with each breath out, or both. An immature lung has also yet to fully develop alveoli, the tiny air sacs that allow for gas exchange within the lungs, to oxygenate their blood properly. A lack of alveoli makes breathing very difficult and highly inefficient. </p> <figure class="asset-c-80"> <span class="asset-image-title">Immature Lung</span> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/Immature_alveolus_MED_ILL_EN.jpg" alt="" /> <figcaption class="asset-image-caption">The lungs contain millions of tiny air sacs called alveoli. If a baby is born too early, these air sacs may not be developed enough for the baby to breathe properly. Immature alveoli have thick walls, and the blood vessels that carry gases to and from the lungs have not yet grown close to the alveoli so it is hard for gas exchange to occur. Mature alveoli have thin walls and are in close contact with many more blood vessels, so oxygen can move easily between the alveoli and the baby's circulation.</figcaption> </figure> <p>Fortunately, methods have been developed to help babies with immature lungs. In fact, the vast majority of premature babies with lung complications survive, most without severe lasting effects. Many premature babies, however, will need oxygen or the help of a mechanical ventilator or a dose of surfactant before they can breathe on their own. </p><p>In addition to problems associated with immaturity, lung complications can occur because of fluid in the lung, infection, abnormal development, or poor gas exchange, which result in lower levels of oxygen in the blood than is desirable. Oxygen and the physical forces of mechanical ventilation can injure the lungs of the premature baby. </p><h4>More information</h4><ul><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=1795&language=English">Diagnosis of breathing problems in premature babies</a> </li><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=1835&language=English">Treatment of breathing problems in premature babies</a> </li><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=1862&language=English">Ongoing care of breathing problems in premature babies</a> </li></ul>https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/breathing_premature_babies.jpgBreathing problems and premature babies

Thank you to our sponsors

AboutKidsHealth is proud to partner with the following sponsors as they support our mission to improve the health and wellbeing of children in Canada and around the world by making accessible health care information available via the internet.