Emilia Grabarczyk has been called the “little fighter” by doctors at a hospital in the western German city of Witten after being born only 8.6 inches or 22 centimeters long. Several experts believe that the baby girl, delivered prematurely at 26 weeks, is the world’s smallest baby, weighing only eight ounces or 229 grams.
As reported by the Central European News (CEN), Sven Schiermeier, baby Emilia’s physician, explains that a fetus normally weighs about 21 ounces or 595 grams at the 26th week of gestation. Delivering the baby before it was time was a necessity, the physician adds.
The doctors said that baby Emilia could have died because she was not getting enough nutrition from her mother’s placenta. Thus, they had to deliver her via cesarean section. However, doctors know that complications could arise and babies with birth weight of 14 ounces rarely survive.
Emilia’s parents, Lukas and Sabine Grabarczyk, said that they wanted to give her a chance to live even if her chances of survival were very low. Sabine tells CEN that there were many difficult days but Emilia clearly wanted to survive.
Premature birth puts Emilia at an increased risk of hyperactivity and learning difficulties, but against all odds, she does not seem to manifest any sign of serious disability.
Emilia was fed using a tiny tube initially. The doctors also used cotton buds soaked in sugar water to soothe her and alleviate her pain. Emilia had to undergo abdominal surgery when she was just 12 ounces.
Now, the baby girl weighs 106 ounces or three kilograms. Her physicians say she is doing much better now and only grows stronger each day.
The previous record holder for the world’s smallest baby was Rumasa Rahman, who was born in 2004 at the Loyola University Medical Centre, Chicago. Rahman was eight inches tall at the time and only weighed 8.6 ounces or 244 grams.