Mom's Viral Video Of Baby's Irregular Breathing Is A Warning For All Parents

by Cassandra Stone
Originally Published: 
Image via Istock/Getty Images

This four-week-old infant’s breathing is irregular because of bronchitis

Even though it feels like we’ve barely said goodbye to summer, every local drug store in America is offering flu shots already, because flu season is almost upon us. And flu season can be a scary time for parents — especially those with very vulnerable babies. Which is why this mom’s viral video of her baby’s irregular breathing couldn’t be more timely. It shows parents of little ones exactly what to look for should they fall ill.

Charlie O’Brien, a mom and podcaster based in London, uploaded a video of her then-infant daughter, Luna, who was just four weeks old and breathing abnormally.

The way Luna’s breathing makes it appear that her skin is sucking into her ribs was a sign that something serious was wrong.

“I was watching her sleep next to me and realised it didn’t look right. I unbuttoned her babygrow and this is what I saw,” O’Brien, who maintains the lifestyle and beauty blog, Real Girl Ramblings, writes in her Facebook post. “Sucking in at ribs is a sign to get your baby or child to hospital.”

It turns out Luna had bronchitis, which causes congestion and inflammation in her tiny airways, or bronchioles, and is prevalent in the winter months especially. As is RSV, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms.

O’Brien writes that she became concerned about Luna’s health initially after “a really quiet” day of sleeping and hardly any crying. “She had bronchiolitis and her oxygen levels were very low. Luckily after a night on oxygen she made a very good recovery.”

According to the CDC, one to two out of every 100 children younger than 6 months of age with RSV infection may need to be hospitalized. RSV can easily lead to bronchitis or pneumonia in children so small. O’Brien has since set up a fund to help other children and adults who have breathing difficulties called Luna’s Bronchiolitis Video. They hope to benefit the organization Asthma UK in their mission to “stop asthma attacks and cure asthma. We do this by funding world leading research, campaigning for improved care and supporting people to reduce their risk of a potentially life threatening asthma attack.”

My own daughter had a cold that quickly turned into RSV at just three weeks old, and it was absolutely terrifying. If you have a weeks-old infant, it can be very tempting to want to pass them around so everyone in the family can see, especially during the holiday season (this was my own personal downfall). While no new family is expected to be shut-ins at Thanksgiving or Christmas, please please please make sure everyone washes their hands thoroughly and that any small children in the family abide by the whole “look but don’t touch” thing. Kids are germ factories, and sometimes new moms feel awkward speaking up about things like that. It’s on every adult to be responsible during those fragile days — especially during the colder months.

O’Brien felt like sharing the video now would serve as a good reminder for parents everywhere — mostly those with infants so they know what to look out for. “We’re heading into the dreaded season of nonstop colds coughs and viruses so thought it was worth a mention.” She’s also asking people to donate to a fundraising page she’s set up to help others with breathing difficulties to live a better life.

If you’d like to donate to Luna’s Bronchiolitis Video fund, you may do so here.

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