Her first breaths weren't easy.
The baby girl -- born last week at Kennewick General Hospital -- was two weeks early and her little lungs weren't quite ready to do their job.
"To see this baby -- she was contracting, working hard (to breath)," said Shirley McIntosh, a nurse and educator at the hospital.
But once the infant was connected to the new bubble CPAP equipment in the hospital's Special Care Nursery, she started to improve.
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"She relaxed," McIntosh told the Herald. "Her breathing was nice and even."
The new equipment -- KGH has five bubble CPAP sets in all -- is expected to make a big difference for newborns with breathing troubles and their families, hospital officials said.
Up to 130 babies are born at KGH each month, and about four typically end up needing to be transferred to another hospital for a higher level of care. Respiratory issues often prompt the transfers, and bubble CPAP will help keep some of those newborns from needing to be moved, hospital staff said.
"Think of how much money that saves in transfer costs, insurance costs. And then the family gets to stay together as a unit, (with) not so much stress in their life," said Bev Russell, director of KGH's Family Birthing Center and Special Care Nursery.
Continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, is a respiratory treatment.
Bubble CPAP -- in which bubbling water is involved in generating the pressure -- is regarded as especially effective for newborns. It's noninvasive, with a nasal mask or nasal prongs delivering the warm, moisturized oxygen and air mixtures.
The baby born last week at KGH was the first infant there to use the new equipment.
She was on bubble CPAP for a few hours and then no longer needed it. She's now at home.
Her family couldn't be reached by the Herald, but mom Liliana Mendoza said in a hospital news release, "I was not worried at all. I knew she was safe and in good hands. I was very happy we could stay together and that (she) did not have to go to another hospital."
Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland also uses bubble CPAP treatment for newborns, said Mike Anderson, supervisor of the respiratory therapy department. The hospital is testing out different equipment to find the right combination for its needs, he said.
At KGH, birthing center staff showed off the new bubble CPAP last week.
"It's exciting to have a new service you feel is going to make life better," McIntosh said.