A German baby born after only 21 weeks and five days in the womb has equalled a world record for surviving premature infants. According to a report from Associated Press, when Frieda and her brother Kilian were born on 7 November, she was the only survivor.
At the time, she measured 11 inches (28 centimetres) and weighed only one pound (460g), but was discharged at the end of April, weighing a healthy 3.5 kilos.
Premature babies — considered to be those born aged less than 32 weeks — are considered at high risk of suffering serious health and developmental problems.
A statement from the hospital in Western Fulda said that Frieda was unlikely to suffer any further problems. It added: ‘In the specialist literature, other premature babies have been lighter than her at birth, some even less than 300g, but there is no mention of a premature baby even younger than Frieda’.
Generally babies born before 22 weeks have no chance of surviving because their lungs, heart and brain are not sufficiently developed. Germany has strict abortion laws. A law was passed in 1995 after the Federal Constitutional Court issued a decision that the constitution protected the foetus from the moment of conception.