Excerpt from The Birth Center Client Manual

Babies make all sorts of sounds with normal breathing. It is normally irregular with rapid, shallow respirations alternating with deep, slow, respirations. The most common breathing sounds come from small amounts of mucous in the nose and throat. Babies will also have periods of very quiet breathing. When babies cry vigorously, they become red in the face and take deep, gasping breaths. Notify TBC if you notice any of the following abnormal breathing patterns:

  1. Grunting: This is labored breathing with a consistent grunting sound at each expiration (breathing out).
  2. Retractions: This describes the concave or rounded inward appearance of the rib bones and the outline of the breastbone with every inspiration (breathing in) in the absence of vigorous crying.
  3. Rapid Breathing: Rapid breathing consists of more than 80 inspirations per minute. Rapid breathing that persists for more than 15 minutes is abnormal.