World's Smallest Baby?
By Tina Benitez FOX NEWS CHANNEL / UNITED STATES OF
A tiny German baby named Kimberley who weighed just
10 ounces when she was born six months ago is headed
Billed as the “world’s smallest surviving baby,
Kimberley was a mere 10.2 inches in length and
weighed a little more than a stick of butter when
she was first born. But a baby born in Chicago in
2004 was even smaller, weighing just 8.6 ounces at
Little Rumaisa Rahman and a larger twin sister (who
weighed one pound, four ounces) were born at Loyola
University Medical Center three years ago and
miraculously survived their preterm births.
“Baby Kimberley” may be the smallest baby ever born
in Germany and the youngest in the world to survive
with a chance of less than 1,000 to one, according
Now 5 pounds and measuring 17 inches, doctors kept
Kimberley alive by placing her in an incubator for
warmth. They also fed her through a drip and gave
her a respirator to help her breathe. Drugs were
used to boost her immune system, and she was given
laser treatment on her eyes when she was just
3-months-old to prevent her from going blind.
In the next few weeks, Kimberley will continue to be
fed artificially and will be given oxygen to help
her lungs continue to develop.
Premature Birth Risks
Premature births, defined as live births that occur
anytime before the 37 weeks of pregnancy are
complete, affected 12.5 percent of births in the U.S.
in 2005, according to the National Academy of
Sciences. Premature labor continues to plague
pregnancies in the U.S., according to Dr. Manny
Alvarez, managing editor of Health for Foxnews.com.
The biggest challenges, according to Alvarez, are
the actual complications that often occur during
premature labor and recognizing some of the signs
that may lead to premature birth during pregnancy.
“The exact mechanism is not well-understood, but
there are several risk factors, including infection,
smoking, alcohol consumption, multiple (and) past
births of twins, triplets, quadruplets, and
especially a prior history of premature births,” he
Early prenatal care is the best way to reduce
preterm birth, said Alvarez. “The key is identifying
the risk factors and modifying your prenatal care,
so you get more bang for your buck,” he said. “More
frequent doctor visits, early bed rest during
pregnancy and ultrasounds are some of the things
that are utilized with patients. Preterm delivery
affects all ages and races of reproduction.”