A girl believed to be the smallest-ever surviving baby — weighing just over half a pound, or 8.6 ounces, at birth — has been released from a California hospital.
After almost five months in a neonatal intensive care unit, the baby girl left the San Diego hospital earlier this month.
The baby (name has not been released) was born prematurely at 23 weeks of gestation weighing just over 8 ounces.
Dr. Edward Bell of the University of Iowa, which maintains the Tiniest Babies Registry, confirmed that she is the smallest baby the registry has ever recorded.
“Micro-preemies,” babies born before 28 weeks of gestation
(Babies are typically born after 40 weeks of pregnancy) often have serious medical challenges involving brain and lung problems, and they are more prone to infections, having spent less time with their mother’s blood supply. Most rarely survive.
The baby is about 7 grams lighter than the previous smallest baby, who was born in 2015 after 25 weeks of gestation in Germany.
Hospital officials say she was discharged as a healthy 5-pound infant. The staff gave her a graduation cap on her departure.