The world's smallest baby is now thriving despite previous warnings she was unlikely to survive.
When Emilia Grabarczyk was born in Witten, Germany, nine months ago, she measured just 8 1/2 inches and weighed a meager 8 ounces -- less than a grapefruit.
She was called “the little fighter” by doctors and amazed everyone when she was born. The tiny baby is the lightest premature infant in the world to endure.
The record was previously held by Rumaisa Rahman, who was born in Chicago when her mother was just 25 weeks pregnant. Rumaisa weighed 8.6 ounces and was only 8 inches long, according to The Sun.
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Now, Emilia is thriving and weighs a healthy 7 pounds 2 ounces, reports Daily Mail.
Dr. Sven Schiermeier, chief physician of obstetrics at St. Mary's hospital, where Emilia was born, decided to deliver the baby via cesarean section after discussing it with her parents.
Schiermeier says the baby would have died in the womb otherwise because there was a problem with the placenta and Emilia was not getting enough nutrients to survive.
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Parents Lukas and Sabine Grabarczyk said they would do whatever it took to ensure their child was given a chance, even if the odds for survival were low.
“Even children with a birth weight of 14 ounces rarely survive. We have to thank Emilia as well for her own survival,” said Dr. Bahman Gharavi, head of children and youth clinic at St. Mary's. “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.”
But because she was born so prematurely with such a low birth weight, medical experts warned she could face complications, such as increased risk of hyperactivity and learning disabilities.
Fortunately, Emilia has not shown any signs of severe disability. She was primarily fed with a tiny tube and nurses would use a cotton swab soaked in sugar water to ease her pains.
Emilia even went through abdominal surgery when she weighed only 12 ounces.
“There were many difficult days and many tears, but she clearly wanted to survive,” said her proud mother.