Caring for a Premature Baby: Breathing

ER - Madison

18 min Average


What if my baby stops breathing during a feeding?

It is a common occurrence for a premature baby to have some breathing difficulty when they are eating. The baby is so busy sucking that he/she may forget to take a breath or to swallow. You might notice your baby becoming a little pale or "bluish" around their mouth, and not sucking. If this happens:

  • Stop the feeding
  • Sit your baby up on your lap. Often times by patting him/her on their back it will be enough to remind them to take a breath. You may have to take "breaks" during the feedings, allowing time to burp more often.
  • If your baby sometimes has this problem, it is a good idea to always feed with a light on.
  • Call your baby's doctor about any change or problem your baby may have.

Should I take a CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) course before my baby comes home?

Learning CPR is appropriate for all parents whether or not their baby was born prematurely.

If your nursery offers CPR for children, it is a good idea to take the course. The Red Cross offers classes in adult and infant CPR also. Meriter offers infant and child CPR classes. You can learn more and register online.

CPR prepares parents for an emergency if one should occur.