Pic shows: Emilia's baby foot measured 3.1 centimetres in the birth

A baby is said to be the smallest ever born in the world who survived a premature birth.

Baby Emilia was born in a hospital in the western German city of Witten in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Weighing only 229 grams (8 ounces), she has been described by local media as the lightest premature baby ever born in the world.

They said the previous record was held by Rumaisa Rahman, who was born in the Loyola University Medical Centre in the US city of Chicago when her mum was only 25 weeks pregnant. At birth, she was eight inches tall and weighed 8.6 ounces.

For both Emilia’s parents and the doctors, her birth is a special moment. According to the doctors she can be called a medical sensation. At birth the girl was just 8.6 inch tall, her 1.2-inch foot not much bigger than a fingernail.

Dr. Bahman Gharavi, Head of Children and Youth Clinic at the hospital, said the girl’s birth was truly unique.

The doctor said that the survival of the baby was only possible thanks to the joint effort of paediatricians, gynaecologists and paediatric surgeons. And thanks to Emilia.

He said: "Even children with a birth weight of 14 ounces rarely survive. We have to thank Emilia as well for her own survival. She is a little fighter."

At the beginning of the 26th week of pregnancy Prof Dr Sven Schiermeier, chief physician of obstetrics, decided together with the parents to deliver the baby by Caesarean section. He said that otherwise Emilia would have died in the womb as the placenta was not sufficient for her nutrition.

For comparison, the doctor said that usually a foetus in the 26th week of pregnancy would have weighed around 21 ounces.

For parents Lukas and Sabine Grabarczyk (34 and 30 years old) there was no question as to whether they would give the child a chance even if the odds for survival were low.

The early birth was followed by a period of uncertainty. Emilia was born so early that it led to subsequent complications, according to Dr Gharavi. There was an increased risk of hyperactivity and learning difficulties. Yet luckily for the girl, there are no signs of serious disability.

Dr Gharavi said: "For more than six months, it was unclear whether she would survive. Only in recent weeks she is getting more robust."

Emilia was initially fed with a tiny tube. The doctors used a cotton bud soaked in sugar water to soothe her and relieve pains. Baby Emilia even survived an abdominal surgery at a weight of just 12 ounces.

Her proud mother said: "There were many difficult days and many tears, but she clearly wanted to survive."

Right now Emilia weighs 106 ounces and seems to be in much better physical condition.

The Maria hospital in Witten has therefore released some remarkable pictures of baby Emilia who was now born nine months ago.

The little girl is seen making herself comfortable for an afternoon nap wearing some knitted socks and a hat.


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