It’s wonderful to see that Emilia Grabarczyk, the world’s smallest surviving premature baby, born with feet the size of a fingernail, is now a healthy nine-month old!
Emilia had to be delivered by emergency caesarean when her mother Sabine was in her 26th week of pregnancy. This was due to the fact that Sabine’s placenta wasn’t providing Emilia with enough nutrition.
Emilia’s parents were told that if they’d continued the pregnancy, she could have died in the womb.
Problems with the placenta can lead to babies not growing properly (fetal growth restriction) in the womb, a condition which is sometimes indicated by a baby’s movements reducing.
Sadly, fetal growth restriction and other placenta issues are the cause of many stillbirths.
55% of women who had a stillbirth noticed their baby’s movements had slowed down or stopped but hadn’t reported it.
Tommy’s Placenta Clinic, is run as part of the Tommy’s Stillbirth Research Centre at in St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester. It combines research into why fetal growth restriction occurs and how best to treat these problems with specialised antenatal care for women who are high risk.
The period after Emilia was delivered was very uncertain and emotional for her parents, as is the case for many premature births.
The earlier a baby is born, the higher the risk that they may not survive. Emilia’s parents were warned that due to her being so very premature, the chances of Emilia surviving were low.
Fortunately, Emilia fought back! Now weighing a healthier 106 ounces, Emilia is 9 months old and in a much better physical condition.
"There were many difficult days and many tears, but she clearly wanted to survive," Emilia’s mother said.
If you want to know more about reduced fetal movements read more on this infographic (pdf).
If you are concerned about your premature baby’s development, read more about prematurity here.
Want to know more about all of the prematurity research Tommy’s do? Click through to our prematurity research info here.
Read more about the Tommy’s Placenta Clinic, our clinic at St Thomas’ hospital London which helps mums at risk.
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We have received a huge amount of coverage for our #SleepOnSide campaign this week. These are some of the commonly asked questions about the research and the campaign, and our responses.
I didn't need ten days, I passed my baby the next day, I knew I was no longer pregnant, the second scan confirmed a blighted ovum, but to me that wasn't a blighted ovum, that was my baby.
On that Monday I remember saying to the nurse, "I'm worried it might be ectopic." Her reply was that it probably wasn't. And that was that.
The best thing anyone said to us was that parenthood is a roller coaster, sometimes right from the start - I think it sums up our experience perfectly.
I have always been someone who believes in everything happens for a reason but when something happens THRICE I can only try to be positive.