The Most Prematurely Born Infant Not Only Survived—she’s 3 Years Old And Thriving.

Preemie in an incubator
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As preterm birth rates continue to rise for a second year in a row, so do the concerns of doctors and expectant mothers. Even though the American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology offers a great deal of information regarding the diagnosis and possible causes of early labor, it’s still at the top of worry lists for moms-to-be. This preemie’s survival story, however, may be the source of hope—and medical study—for the future.

In a study published in the journal Pediatrics, doctors believe this baby is the most premature infant ever reported to survive.

Courtney Stensrud, 35, of San Antonio, TX, went into early labor after experiencing a medical emergency—the premature rupture of membranes, which can occur between 20 and 37 weeks of pregnancy, and chorioamnionitis, an infection of the placenta and the amniotic fluid. Being only 21 weeks in, she knew that her baby’s chances of surviving were more than slim.

The American Academy of Pediatrics published that, “Most countries, including the United States, continue to report that survival without significant neurologic sequelae is extremely rare in infants delivered before 23 weeks of gestation, even with full resuscitation and intensive care.”

When Stensrud gave birth, at approximately 21 weeks and 4 days, her daughter weighed a mere 14.5 ounces. Dr. Kaashif Ahmad, a MEDNAX-affiliated neonatologist at the Pediatrix Medical Group of San Antonio, counseled Stensrud on the unlikelihood of…

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