Transient tachypnea is a very fast breathing rate. It happens in newborns that have too much fluid in their lungs. The fluid limits the amount of oxygen these newborns pull into their lungs. As a result, the baby needs to breathe at a faster rate to get enough oxygen.

Babies born with this condition usually recover within three days of birth. Transient tachypnea can be easily treated but will need care from a doctor.

Respiratory System of an Infant
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During pregnancy, a baby’s lungs are filled with fluid. Chemical signals just before birth will start to clear the fluid out of the lung. Then physical pressures during labor and birth will push more fluid out. After birth, the baby may also cough some of the fluid out of the lungs. The baby's first breaths should clear out any remaining fluid. Some newborns are not able to clear enough fluid from their lungs. The fluid blocks some oxygen from moving from the lungs to the blood. The low levels of oxygen causes transient tachypnea.

Fluid might not clear from lungs quickly enough if :

  • The baby doesn’t respond well to the chemical signals during labor
  • Fluid isn’t squeezed out of the lungs in the birth canal