Pregnancy/Babies | Family

Born Before 22 Weeks, Premature Baby Has Beat All The Odds

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Courtney Stensrud and her husband call their baby girl nothing short of a miracle.

The now 3-year-old girl was born at just 21 weeks, 4 days after conception and is defying all odds.

"She may be the most premature known survivor to date," according to a case report about her birth published in the journal Pediatrics.

Born weighing less than a pound, this astounding three-year-old is now attending preschool, has no medical conditions and is scoring well on developmental tests.

"If you didn't know that she was so preemie, you would think she's a normal three-year-old," Stensrud said.


In the United States, most doctors agree that 22 weeks of gestation is the lower threshold of viability and even recommend against resuscitating babies born younger than 22 weeks because of their low chance of survival. Typical full-term babies are born between 39 through 40 weeks gestation.

It was a medical emergency that led to the early birth of Courtney's daughter being born in 2014. She went into early labor because of a premature rupture of membranes and a common infection of the placental membrane called chorioamnionitis.

After being told she had to deliver the baby to avoid losing her, she frantically searched for other stories of survival with an infant this young.

"There were stories of 22-weekers, 23-weekers, but nothing about 21-weekers. So I knew that there was little to no survival or viability at 21 weeks," said the now 35-year-old mom.

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