Surprising News About World's Smallest Preemies Born at 9 Ounces

good news premature babyMy heart is warming over this update about two different preemies, both of which were so tiny, the comparison being made is to the weight and size of a smartphone. I'm holding my iPhone now and cannot believe how well Madeline Mann and Rumaisa Rahman are now doing. Since both were born early and weighed in at 9.9 ounces and 9.2 ounces respectively -- the normal weight for a fetus at only 18 weeks -- it's a miracle they survived. But Madeline is a healthy 20-year-old college student and Rumaisa is a 7-year-old with no chronic health problems.

Both of these girls are smaller for their age, but none of the developmental motor or speech issues plagued these tiny preemies as we have come to expect with such tiny babies. It's enough to make you breathe a sigh of relief, if these results were not so atypical. Still, let's take a moment to be grateful for this progress.

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These two girls hold the record for being the world's smallest surviving preemies, so the fact that they're both doing well is astounding. So much so that the doctor writing about these two miracle preemies wants to be sure everyone knows this is not the usual outcome for preemies who are born so early and at such a low weight. But it's certainly encouraging if you're the parent of a premature baby and are constantly reading about all the other possibilities.

Unfortunately, the mothers of these girls did not want to be interviewed, so while the speculation is the two girls received excellent care in their home, we don't know if their moms did anything differently than other preemie parents. Of course we all know that giving a child who is facing physical and mental challenges from birth extra care is the key to a positive outcome. But not the only variable, as there are some physical challenges that can't be fixed by external factors.

This story is also not meant to say that parents are the reason a child fails or thrives. But a happy example of how being a premature baby doesn't always result in lifelong health problems. If you are the parent of a preemie and need support, talk to your pediatrician and visit the March of Dimes for more resources.

Do you have a preemie?

 

Image via Cesar Rincon/Flickr

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