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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

4 week old and breath holding attack - some support needed!!

(16 Posts)
sades101 Fri 14-Sep-12 16:00:17

My 4 and a half week old had a "breath holding attack" last night, or so the doctor called it... we had to call an ambulance and have seen 3 health professionals since, who have all said he is a healthy baby. Since then I have felt terribly scared and depressed, I can't relax or be the happy playful mum I strive to be because I am so terrified of him stopping breathing again. Has anyone else had any similar experiences - If so how did you cope? xx sad

IHeartKingThistle Fri 14-Sep-12 16:11:48

Oh, I've been there - I really feel for you. DS had attacks where he would be fine then from nowhere scream horribly then stop breathing for about 4 seconds. His eyes went weird and his arms would throw out. Afterwards he would be very quiet. Is that similar to what happened? It was absolutely horrendous to witness but he was, and is, fine.

IHeartKingThistle Fri 14-Sep-12 16:24:52

Also, despite the doctors/hospital being unable to shed any light on it at all, the one thing they did say which helped was that in this sort of thing the brain will not let the body stop breathing - it will always kick back in again after a few seconds. I clung on to that like crazy.

IHeartKingThistle Fri 14-Sep-12 16:25:14

They were right smile

sades101 Fri 14-Sep-12 16:39:48

Well it happened whilst he was feeding (often he takes pauses during his feeds so I didn't think anything of it) and then when I looked some milk was coming out of his mouth so I felt his chest and my partner felt his chest and he wasn't breathing so we picked him up to put him upright (in case he was choking) but he just was all limp and red in the face, then he went all pale and was twitching slightly, but wouldn't wake up... Once he did come round he tried to let out a cry but no noise would come out!! Thankfully by the time the ambulance got here he had become responsive again, but was still really quiet and I think possibly weirded out... During the time the paramedic was here his cries came back, I never thought I'd feel so relieved to hear my baby cry (apart from when he was first born) Then we took him to an out of hours doctor who told us about "breath holding attacks" - I was already pretty neurotic, now it's just silly, every 5 minutes I'm just staring at his chest unless he's in his moses basket in which we have a babysense breathing monitor!! So scary being a new mum, especially when the little ones have episodes like that :'( (sorry for the essay I am just full of emotion right now)

IHeartKingThistle Fri 14-Sep-12 16:51:35

That sounds a bit different but it is absolutely terrifying and I can remember it so vividly. DD was a toddler and I tried so hard to be normal and fun while it was all going on. I actually ended up quite ill afterwards and I swear it was because I had kept all the stress bottled up. So go with it.

I'm sure he will be fine. Keep checking him or do whatever it is you need to do to get through it.

((hugs)) (never given any of those before!)

elfycat Fri 14-Sep-12 16:55:12

Children and babies do breath-hold and they will breathe again. It gets uncomfortable to hold a breath for too long. I always felt that my DDs got a bit confused about feeding and breathing and which to do. If they were hungry they'd get confused and forget to breathe.

Having said that none of the health professionals witnessed this episode so it wasn't really a diagnosis. If you have any concerns about your baby's breathing you should still call for help again or see your GP urgently, and mention this at the 6 week check even if it hasn't happened again.

sades101 Fri 14-Sep-12 17:29:38

Thanks for the hugs, they are certainly much needed!! I took him to the doctors again today and had him checked and the doctor listened to his breathing etc and said it sounds perfectly normal and also said everything else about him seemed healthy. They said if it did happen again to just do what we did last time and call an ambulance. He has been okay today, but saying that all of yesterday he was really happy and alert and feeding, weeing and pooping as normal and then that happened out of the blue in the evening. Also me and my partner are going to do a st johns ambulance course on babies and resuscitation etc. on the 26th (not that it will make me feel any better if it happened again, because you just go into absolute panic, but it's helpful to know) I suffer massively with anxiety as it is, just hope this doesn't send me on a downwards spiral!! Trying to stay positive is really hard - Thanks so much for your replies

IHeartKingThistle Fri 14-Sep-12 17:36:06

Let us know how he is tonight. I think the first aid course is a brilliant idea.

sades101 Fri 14-Sep-12 17:48:16

Will do!! he's having his first proper sleep at the moment thankfully, as he was getting very overtired and stressed out, feel bad that I'm gonna have to wake him for his feed in half an hour, I'm new to mumsnet, but already its been really good being on here, think i'll be a very regular visitor to the site!!

IHeartKingThistle Fri 14-Sep-12 17:52:33

Watch out, it's addictive wink

IHeartKingThistle Sun 16-Sep-12 11:38:09

How is he OP?

sades101 Sun 16-Sep-12 12:48:58

Hey sorry for the lack of update!! He has seemed okay since (touch wood) Although me and DP have been so scared feeding him ever since (because that's when it happened) We were just settling into being parents and now I feel like the first day of being at home with him, just petrified. Just trying to stay calm!! Bless him, he's having a lil snooze at the moment, then it's scary feeding time in half an hour grin

IHeartKingThistle Sun 16-Sep-12 13:53:31

That's great to hear smile

One day at a time!

mawbroon Sun 16-Sep-12 14:02:00

Can you tell us what his feeding is like normally?

sades101 Sun 16-Sep-12 17:04:18

His feeding is normally fine, he feeds 4oz or slightly more every 4 hours (although today we gave him an extra 2oz in the middle because he was crying and seemed hungry, then he settled. I used to enjoy feeding him because it made him so content and happy, but now I'm just watching his chest like a hawk and checking he's breathing and any time he stops for a rest I am taking the bottle away in fear of not seeing if he hasn't swallowed it all so he finds it more distressing because he just wanted a breather and not for me to take the bottle away... I just hope my fear subsides somewhat so we can get back to enjoying feeding and bonding sad being a mum is really scary - and I've heard it doesn't get any less worrying as they grow up!! Guess I better get used to being a nervous wreck :/

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