Surviving Prematurity

How the smallest babies survive

By Bob Ray
|  Monday, Dec 12, 2011  |  Updated 5:26 PM CDT
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Two world-record holders for being the smallest babies are doing just fine, and doctors say why.

Two world-record holders for being the smallest babies are doing just fine, and doctors say why.

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Doctors at Loyola University Medical Center know that big things come in small packages.

Monday, doctors there delivered an update on the lives of two of their extremely premature babies -- 1989's Madeline Mann and 2004's Rumaisa Rahmam -- in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Extreme prematurity is considered to be under one pound. 

The report revealed how some babies are more likely to survive than others. 

Factors that help include having the mother take steroids before giving birth, making sure the baby remains in the womb for at least 25 weeks, and for some unknown reason, having a girl. Girls are more likely to survive than boys, the report said..

Mann weighed only 9.9 ounces and was the world record holder at the time of her birth. Today she's an honors student in college.

In 2004, Mann lost her world record to Rahmam, who weighed in at just 9.2 ounces. 

Rahmam, 7, remains the current record holder for tiniest baby.

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