World’s smallest surviving baby thriving at nine months old

Emilia Grabarczyk was born 15 weeks early, and is believed to be the smallest ever baby to survive such an early delivery.

Born in the German city of Witten after only 25 weeks in the womb, she measured 22 centimetres long and weighed just eight ounces. Her foot was just an inch long.

Now, nine months on, she weighs 7lb 2oz and is getting stronger with each passing day.

Dr Bahman Gharavi, Head of Children and Youth Clinic at St Mary’s hospital, described her birth as truly unique, saying: “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.”

“For more than six months, it was unclear whether she would survive. Only in recent weeks she is getting more robust.”

As Emilia’s mother Sabine entered her 25th week of pregnancy nine months ago, she was warned by obstetrician Dr Sven Schiermeier that the placenta was failing to provide her child with enough nutrition. Without a caesarean, she would have died in the womb.

The emergency procedure followed, and Dr Gharavi has now credited the efforts of paediatricians, gynaecologists and paediatric surgeons in helping Emily to survive. Despite her size, she appeared to be in good health. Her early birth carried a risk of behavioural and learning difficulties, but there have been so signs of any disability.

“There were many difficult days and many tears, but she clearly wanted to survive,” said Sabine.

The previous record for lightest premature baby was held by Rumaisa Rahman, who was delivered at 25 weeks and weighed 8.6 ounces.