TTN is a medical term for a newborn baby who breathes very fast because there is too much fluid in the baby’s lungs.
While inside the mother, a baby's lungs are normally filled with fluid. The process of labor and vaginal birth squeezes the baby's chest wall and prepares the lungs for the first breath. After birth, the baby takes his first breath and the lungs fill with air, replacing the fluid. The baby's blood absorbs the lung fluid, or the baby coughs the fluid out. The fluid is usually cleared out of the lungs over several hours.
Some babies have extra fluid or absorb the fluid too slowly. The fluid makes the lungs stiff, causing the baby to breathe faster and harder than normal. Babies born by C-section, or babies born after fast labors are more likely to have TTN. It is also more common in babies born to mothers with diabetes.
This extra fluid shortly after birth causes the baby to:
TTN is usually diagnosed based on how the baby looks and how he sounds. Your baby may also have a chest X-ray or blood gas test. This can help the doctor decide if baby has TTN and if he needs to be given oxygen.
Other lab tests may be done to make sure that the breathing problems are not caused by something other than TTN.
Babies who have TTN usually recover completely within 12 to 24 hours after birth but can take up to 72 hours. They have no long-lasting side effects.