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Apnea of Prematurity

Key points about apnea of prematurity

  • Apnea is a term that means breathing has stopped for more than 20 seconds. It can happen in full-term babies, but it's more common in premature babies.
  • Apnea of prematurity may not have a cause other than your baby's having an immature central nervous system. 
  • Many premature babies will "outgrow" apnea of prematurity by the time they reach the date that would have been the 36th week of pregnancy. 
  • Sometimes a baby is sent home with an apnea monitor.
Departments

Departments

Infant Apnea/BPD Program

When your baby has trouble breathing or has a form of apnea, which temporarily stops normal breathing, a home monitor allows for continuous monitoring of your baby’s breathing and heart.

Critical Care Medicine

With the only pediatric, cardiac and neuro-intensive care units in the immediate Washington, D.C., area, Children’s National Hospital is the region’s leading provider of critical care medicine for seriously ill and injured infants and children.

Neonatology

Whether your infant has arrived prematurely or has a critical illness, the Children’s National Hospital top-ranked team assists in coordinating every service you and your baby need, including consultations, assessments, emergency treatments and continuing care.

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Mila's Story

Baby Mila in her stoller with a Happy New Year hat.

As soon as Mila was born at 35.5 gestational weeks, it was clear something was terribly wrong. Mila’s breathing didn’t sound right. Her mother waited to hear her newborn cry. Following diagnostic imaging and genetic testing, her newborn daughter's health concerns were revealed. 

Read More of Mila's Story