17 answers

Preemie with Constant Breathing Problems

My son, 8 months next week, has been sick non-stop since November. We've done the albuterol in the nebulizer since he's been 3-4 months (starting & stopping when the doctor tells us, of course). He was born over 7 weeks early, so I'm wondering if that has something to do with it. The doctor is worried that he may have asthma or allergies, but they can't diagnose or test for it until he's 2. We just started him on an inhaled steroid, Pulmacort, which we will continue with "indefinitely". He's just had 3 treatments of that, but I can't tell if it is working. We also have the humidifier & prop up his bed. Any other mom's with similar stories? What else can we do?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I wouldn't use the humidifier. Switch to a vaporizor. My son always did better with the hot steam in his room to open his chest, not the cold air from a humidifier. A little Vicks helps too. Just don't ever put it in the nose.

Have you had his adenoids looked at? My son was born 10 weeks early. Same thing as you - constant breathing issues. It always seemed he was congested. We tried everything. Finally saw an ENT who suggested we remove his adenoids. We did that in June when he was 2.5 yo. The change has been amazing! He's so much clearer now. And he's only had one cold this winter so far!

Good luck!

More Answers

Hi D., I'm suggesting this because I used to have terrible bronchitis and my 4 year old son was getting sick 8-10 times per year starting very early like your son. He didn't have the breathing problems but had constant colds and sinus infections that required rounds and rounds of antibiotics. I was the one on my way to developing asthma with my bronchial attacks especially during winter. My dad found a product through a Japanese herbalist that can be used with a nebulizer. It's a natural product called mesosilver. We have been on it since August and no major colds, allergies, sinus infections, or breathing issues. It can be used for any age from infants up to the elderly and any age in between.The great thing about this produc is once you feel your immunity system is back on track, we only take it at the onset of an illness. Please see the link http://www.colloidsforlife.com/silver_Pneumonia.html
This particular link speaks about pneumonia but includes
information about infants using the product and using it with nebulizers so I thought it would help. There have been absolutely ZERO side effects for me or my 4 year old son. It's definitely not a mainstream solution like steroids and inhalers, but I was tired of steroids. When the dr.s told me my son may have to start that's when we really started looking for alternatives to standard medicine. Good luck and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. -Judy
PS--This is not the silver that turns your skin blue. That was a homemade product and of a different formulation. I am not affiliated with the product at all, just a mom who is glad she found an alternative to being sick 10 months out of the year.

1 mom found this helpful

My son was born only 3lbs at but he was only 2 1/2 weeks early. And we had to deal with all of the same issues except for the Pulmacort. However his doctor did say that she could tell that it was asthma based on his symptons. The funny thing is that when we would take him to the doctor even though his breathing would be horrible he would not act as if he were in any discomfort at all. The good news is that now (just like with his reflux) he seems to have grown out of it. In the past few months we have had no problems from him. And though he does have a runny nose now. His breathing is fine. I hope and pray that the same thing happens for your baby.

D., Time for some detective work. Have you noticed when he is in other places if he is the same or are there places where there is no dog or cat or dolphins and everything is fine? Well, you get the picture. Have you switched any laundry soaps,shampoos, products of any kind. I have dust bunnies and molds on my list for when my children used to have some of these problems. You can't see some of the molds for instance if your home had water leakage. I work at a school where there are allergies to the latex balloons and they can only have Mylar. Anything like that that seems so ordinary and yet it's perhaps a twinge of a problem? Well, those are thoughts. Hugs S.

My husband's nephew was born premature, about 2 months or something like that. He also had breathing problems. My bil had to also buy special formula that most stores do not carry, and it was so expensive. They were always taking the little one to the er for breathing and he did have special meds though I do not know what they were. In the winter, my bil would have to stay home from a lot of things because the cold would aggravate the asthma (which did come up right around the tme he was 2 or 3). But, the good news is now he is 6 or 7 and he has no breathing problems at all. I asked in Sept and his mom told me he doesn't even take meds anymore. When they are born preemie, their lungs don't always work properly and they can have asthma. Sometimes they outgrow it. Good Luck.

I wouldn't use the humidifier. Switch to a vaporizor. My son always did better with the hot steam in his room to open his chest, not the cold air from a humidifier. A little Vicks helps too. Just don't ever put it in the nose.

Have you had his adenoids looked at? My son was born 10 weeks early. Same thing as you - constant breathing issues. It always seemed he was congested. We tried everything. Finally saw an ENT who suggested we remove his adenoids. We did that in June when he was 2.5 yo. The change has been amazing! He's so much clearer now. And he's only had one cold this winter so far!

Good luck!

Unfortunately when babies are born premature they have have a tendency to develop asthma and other breathing problems because their lungs didn't get to develop fully in the womb. However they can outgrow these problems.

Our son had asthma symptoms too. We didn't think anything of it since his dad has asthma. We also used an inhaler for him, which was rather awkward.

I suggested allergy testing because I knew that his father's asthma is worse when he's exposed to his allergens. The testing showed that he was allergic to eggs. Severely allergic. Not only was he exposed from the things he ate, but I was practicing extended breastfeeding at the time, and he was exposed to everything I ate as well. Once we eliminated the eggs from his diet (and mine), all asthma symptoms stopped. Some very common allergens are egg, wheat, peanuts, dairy, soy, tree nut and seafood. He has since outgrown his food allergies.

By the time we had my son tested, however, he was around two or so. But you might want to contact a pediatric allergist and see if they will take him younger. They may not be able to do the tests and such, but they might be able to give you some help/advice. You might want to make changes in his diet to see if his symptoms improve, for example. But please do this with the guidance of a doctor.

Hi D.,

My daughter was born 3 1/2 months pre-mature & camre home on oxygen & a heart rate monitor-------so to say the least, my daughter has been on all these meds--the Pulmacort is more of a stabilizing (consistent) steroid (inhaled which will take at least a week or 2 for you to see any results, so be patient--the Albuterol is for the emergency wheezing episodes you need to use when you hear your son wheezing/whistling--I used to put my ear on my daughters back & you could hear if she needed Albuterol, but I used Pulmacort 2 x's a day for about 6-8 months & then once a day after that. (especially during flu season). I have all this medication & nebulizer at home & use it to with my discretion due to the time I have dealt with these breathing issues, my Ped is confident I know when & how to use. I have not used Pulmocort on a regular basis for over a year and 1/2, but if I see a respitory issue comming on, I will start it & then only use Albuterol when I hear wheezing/whistling--my key is if I hear my daughter coughing or having a hard time at night/sleeping it seems as if this starts the beginning of most respitory issues. Be patient with the Pulmacort & educate yourself on the issues your son is having to administer the meds with confidence, & w/ necessity (only). I strongly suggest a reputable Pulminologist that specializes in pre-mature lung issues (ie BPD)Broccial Pulminary Displasia--which in other words is scar tissue caused by pre-maturity---which children's lungs grow up until 7 years of age to repair the damage that may have been caused by ventilator/infection etc--seven weeks early, it is quite possible your son did not go on the ventilator, so he may not have these issues. I went to Dr Sharma at Rush University Medical Center & I have nothing but great things to say about him--he weaned my daughter off all steroids & I feel the meds he perscribed, amounts etc. are the reason my daughter is medicationfree today!

Hi D.,

My son was born at 24 weeks and also had breathing problems. That being said the previous response was a great one.

Albuterol acts as a stimulant, revving up the body, which in my opinion, could make your son more open to colds.

Your son is building up his immunities by getting sick, so look at this as a positive! The sickness is making him stronger!

Good luck with your little guy!

D., My twins were born 8 weeks early in November of 2007. When my son Alex was 3 months old, he started having a lot of congestion and coughing. We tried decongestants and after 6 months, allergy medicine. Then eventually xoponex and pulmacort through the nebulizer as well. He didn't seem to get much better, though. After having a chest x-ray, he was diagnosed with asthma. We ended up taking him to a pediatric pulmonologist at Hope Children's Hospital in Oak Lawn. His name is Dr. Akhter, and he was really helpful. Currently, we have weaned Alex to pulmacort just once a day during the winter months, and in the summer, he hasn't needed it at all. It does take a while to work, so don't get discouraged yet. I know this is very scary, but it helped us to see a specialist who deals with breathing problems exclusively. Good Luck, and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Have you considered kangaroo caring/babywearing for your son? Research shows that the skin-to-skin contact improves baby's ability to thrive and grow...you can read more at http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/t051100.asp#T051116 as well as at http://www.thebabywearer.com/

Hey Lady, im in the same similar problem right now as we speak. My son will be 8months on the 9th feb. He was congested really really bad from like october until christmas. The first doctor told me it was just a bad cold so I changed doctors because I wasn't satisified with that answer or help so we went to a new doctor the new doctor finally had gotten it under control and got my son to actually cough because it was so much congesation he couldn't cough it. She perscribed him the nebulizer machine with albuterol and also and inhaler. But on christmas night he had this nerve reckin cough so I took him to the er and they sucked some mucus from him and tested it. It turned out to be RSV. Which that was the most scariest time of my life. But he is now better because I too now have is bed propped and two humidifiers but its going to take a while. Ask them to test his mucus for influenza or RSV and see what happen. U can send me a PM if u like. I am a sahm of two boys. One will be 2 Feburary 17th and 8 months on feb 9th. Im married to the love of my life. Toi

Hi D.! I am a Respiratory Therapist and to me it sounds like your son being born a bit early has everything to do with his breathing issues. A baby really needs the full 38-40 weeks to let everything develope and mature properly before heading out to the world. Now there are plenty of babies who obviously come early and do just fine. Being 7 whole weeks early, his lungs were probably a little underdeveloped making his lungs sensetive to getting sick easier and especially during the colder mos. My recommendation to you is to try really hard not to let this run your life but to be on top of this. You need to have a pediatric pulmonologist you trust caring for your son and understand that your son will be sensetive to getting sick easier and watch for any signs of changes in his breathing. Humidifiers are great! Some babies grow out of this and that's why they hesitate using the words Asthma and Allergies. They will probably call it irritable air ways for now. Everytime you think of a question right it down and ask the dr. That is what they are there for! You wan tto be familiar with change in sound of breathing and the look of his breathing. Is it faster then normal? If you look at him with no shirt you can also tell if he's working to hard if you see him using other muscles to breathe. Educate yourself so you are aware. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Hi D., my son had his allergies tested at 3 months old. Good luck to you.

please check your house for mold spores, dust, animal dander or fur (even)coats, change the baby's linen frequently and also check the detergent you are using. My son was asthmatic and was diagnosed at 3 months old. I had to keep the carpet dust free, not use aresol sprays, among the other things I had previously mentioned. Much good health to your baby. Keep the baby at the doctor's office, maybe even get another opinion.

I went throug this and my baby was even hospitalized for this 3 times. It does get easier. As they get older and you learn the signs, you get better at presevantative care. My 22 month old still has breathing problems in winter months so we have to keep her on QVAR (2 puffs twice a day). This is the preventative inhaler much like Pulmicort (I think). She also takes Abuterol when she get really bad (wheesing). But, over time, I learned to give Abuterol consistently every 4 hours at onset of the cold to keep it at bay. My daughter's problem woudl be that she woudl get a cold and then the cold woudl end up in a bad breathing siyuation. So, at least we knew the trigger.

A question that soemtimes came up is what caused the cold. It was weird, sometimes, she would just starr coughing with no other obvious cold symptoms. After mutliple doctor visits and visits to pediatric pulminologist (lung specialist), and also a video swallow test study, we learned that she has silent aspiration. When she drank liquids (from bottle was the worst), the formula or milk woudl back into her lungs, instead of goign into her stomach. It was do to some body part not being fully developed (ususal explanation).
Solution for silent aspiration is to do everythign you can to keep liiquid out of her lungs. So, what they do is have you use this product called "Simply Thick." It is a clear tasteless gel that you put in ALL liquids before giving bottle, sippy cup or whatever to the baby.

Between the thickening agent and the inhalers, it seemed todo the trick. Although, twice she also had to have prednisone (steroids as well) becasue she coudl not fight the problem on her own with just the use of inhalers. It really sucks to giver her prednisone (steroids) as you really want to limit the # of doses of that medication.

When she was really little (3-6 months), doctors also speculated acid reflex as well so they put her on 2 types of scid reflux meds as well. I HATED her bieng on all these drugs. I folloed their instructions, buted hated every minute of it (and honeslty did not believe the meds helped that much). Over time, I did become a beleiver in some of the meds though. For sure, the prednisone always did the trick. I also found that administering abuterol through a nebulizer worked far better for me (than through the breathing chamber). They are suppose to be equally effective when admisinstered properly, but I always found nebulizer to work best. There were times that I nebulized my daugter day and night every 3-4 straight (in an effort to try to keep her off the steroids, but in the end, she still needed the extra help. I do also beleive the Simply Thick product also helped. I looked into it and the product is not even digested. It just passes right through the body. It is a very repuable product which was recommended to us in the NICO at Northwestern.

Good luck! And, just know you are not alone. Feel free to email me with any questions. I have learned so much tackling this issues over the last 2 years. It seems to be getting better, but still occurs.
Ever since her last hospitalization, er

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.