Baby girl born 'the size of a pen' achieves healthy weight after four months

Photo: Ministry of Health Buryatia
Photo: Ministry of Health Buryatia 

A baby girl born in Siberia last October weighed just 500 grams at birth and was the length of a standard biro.

She was born prematurely - at just 23 weeks gestation - just one week after what is now considered the 'viability' mark of 22 weeks.

Just four months later she reached a healthy weight of 2.642 grams and was discharged from NICU to be treated by a pulmonology clinic which will monitor her respiratory health.

In all other respects she appears to be a healthy, thriving baby, though she will require monitoring until the age of three.

Local medical authorities from the Ministry of Health in Buryatia - a Russian republic in eastern Siberia - said the tiny girl's survival was nothing short of a "miracle," seeing as she was so small, staff were "afraid to hold her in their hands."

Photo: Ministry of Health Buryatia

Photo: Ministry of Health Buryatia

They praised the work of staff who nurture pre-term babies to health.

"The work of pediatric resuscitators is often called a miracle. They're nursing and treating children and might be scared to pick them up or carry out procedures. Nevertheless, the statistics show that nursing of children with extremely low body weight is increasingly successful."

Head neonatologist Oleg Mitkinov said, "I think it is possible to say that our 'goddaughter' is celebrating her second birthday. She was born in October in the 23rd week of pregnancy. Now, after four months, she has 'grown up' and gained weight."

He added, "The baby will spend a couple of months in the pulmonology department before she is allowed to go back home with her mum, where her dad and siblings are waiting for her. We are happy she has no serious issues."

The Siberian Times reports that "165 babies under one kilogram were born in Buryatia in 2019."

Photo: Ministry of Health Buryatia

Photo: Ministry of Health Buryatia