When a mother gave birth to her premature baby girl at week 23 of pregnancy, the baby was so small and fragile that some staff were ‘afraid to hold her in their hands’.

Weighing only 500 grams, which is the equivalent to a loaf of bread, the baby was the size of a pen. Born in Siberia at the Buryatia republican perinatal centre last October, she was was nursed by doctors and four months later in February, was discharged from the perinatal centre at a healthy weight of 2.642 kilograms.

Buryatia’s ministry of healthcare said her survival was “a miracle” and “are happy she has no serious issues.”

 

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A baby born at 23 weeks gestation has been called a ‘miracle baby’.

The little girl, whose name has not been released, will now spend a couple of months in the pulmonology department receiving further care.

Pediatric pulmonologists diagnose, treat, and manage babies and children with breathing and lung diseases.

The baby will then be able to finally go home with her parents and siblings, however she will be closely monitored by medics until at least till the age of three.

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Doctors nursed the premature baby to a healthy weight over the course of four months.

About premature babies

Most pregnancies last 40 weeks and a baby born before the 37th week is known as premature or pre-term baby.

In Australia, about 8% of babies are born prematurely. More than 90% of these premature babies survive. And survival rates continue to climb as medical knowledge improves.

Survival is affected by how premature a baby is. For example, moderately preterm babies are more likely to survive than extremely preterm babies. Babies born after only 23 weeks have a reasonable chance of survival – more than 50%.

Some common issues for premature babies include:

  • breathing problems
  • heart problems
  • problem in their digestive tract
  • jaundice
  • anaemia
  • infections