Magical 21 Weeks and 6 Days Pregnant!

I’m 21 weeks and 6 days pregnant today – why is that magical?

21 weeks pregnant

21 weeks pregnant

Because, according to my research, the youngest baby ever born – Amillia Taylor – was exactly 21 weeks and 6 days into her gestation! She weighed 10 ounces, which is 285 grams! There is however some confusion around the way that date was calculated. Another miracle baby – James Gill – was also born at 21 weeks and 5 days weighing 1 pound 6 ounces (624 grams). The most recent micro premie – Kenna Claire Moore – was born in 2012 in Charlotte at 23 weeks of gestation and weighed 272 grams.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines prematurity as babies born before 37 weeks from the first day of the last menstrual period. THere are however different levels of prematurity.

  • A baby born at 36 weeks will probably be a little slow to feed.
  • A baby born before 33 weeks will have more serious problems including, possibly, immature lungs.
  • Birth before 28 weeks causes very significant problems but the survival rate is quite remarkable.
Their rate of survival is as follows:
  • 90% survival if over 800 g.
  • 50% survival if over 500 g.
  • 80% survival in those born before 28 weeks of gestation.
These babies may however develop minor or major disabilities. But they don’t have to. Some preterm babies have grown up to become geniuses. Isaac Newton, as been considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived could fit into a 1 liter mug. Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century, was born 2 months prematurely.
Can you predict premature labor?
According to my favorite pregnancy book Pregnancy Day By Day it’s hard to predict who will go into labor prematurely.  However if you’ve had a previous preterm birth, tests may be done to find out if it’s likely in your current pregnancy. A cervical scan may be done around 23 weeks since a shorter cervix increases the risk of early labor. Pelvic swabs detect bacteria that are linked to preterm labor, and “fetal  Fibronectin” test between 23 and 34 weeks shows whether a protein is present that, during the second half of pregnancy, generally can’t be detected until 1-3 weeks before labor and delivery. Sometimes, a short cervix is strengthened with a stitch. Antibiotics can be give if abnormal bacteria are found. Progesterone may be given to stop contractions.

All this medical talk aside, it’s such an amazing feeling to know that my baby could potentially survive if born now. It makes everything so much more real, even more real than all the kicking at night, as if baby was saying “don’t sleep mama, I want to play”.

I can’t wait for the baby to arrive – as a term baby of course – end of July!

Update: Here’s a very interesting article about prematurity.

HOW DO YOU FEEL NOW THAT YOU’VE PASSED THIS MILESTONE? PLEASE SHARE IN THE COMMENTS SECTION.

You might also like:

Pregnancy Week 24 – Baby is Viable!

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Categories: Pregnancy Belly, Pregnancy Week by Week

Author:Alinka Rutkowska

Alinka is a best-selling and award-winning Children's Author.

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