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Whats the earliest a baby can survive outside the womb

I was just wondering what is the earliest a baby can survive outside the womb/if you've had to deliver early, how early did you deliver and was everything ok with your baby?

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Asked by jessiskinner200 at 6:46 PM on Apr. 16, 2011 in Pregnancy

Level 15 (1,934 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • It totally varies by baby. And are you talking about surviving with major medical interventions or surviving completely on its own? Around 21 weeks, a baby CAN survive with a lot of help and tons of time in a NICU. Closer to 28 weeks is when a baby is more likely to be able to survive outside the womb without as much intervention. My uncle (now in his 60s) was born at 28 weeks and survived. They didn't have NICUs back then.

    Then you have my sons who were born at 38 weeks... and both of them were in the NICU for a week each with breathing issues from immature lungs. You just never know. They are fine now... but, still. Nothing is guaranteed. No matter how many stats you read or how many people you talk to, it does not matter... your child could be totally different.

    Answer by MomX3ThatsMe at 6:49 PM on Apr. 16, 2011

  • A Google search tells me that the youngest to survive was at 21 weeks gestation. I think a lot depends on the child, it's strength, how far along it is individually in development...maybe even how strong he/she wants to live.

    DD was born at 31 weeks and spent 4-1/2 weeks in the NICU. Her lungs were fine, but she was small and couldn't yet figure out the whole sucking/breathing/swallowing at the same time thing. She developed mild Jaundice after the first few days. But there was nothing truly medically wrong with her.

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 7:38 PM on Apr. 16, 2011

  • Usually the earliest is 25 1/2 weeks. Assuming you live in a city or state with a TOP Neo Natal unit.

    Answer by vbruno at 7:55 PM on Apr. 16, 2011

  • Some hospitals won't attempt to save babies born before 22 or 24 weeks. My neice was born at about 19, she breathed when she was born, and they wouldn't make an attempt, just left her to die in my SIL & brother's arms.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:20 PM on Apr. 16, 2011

  • It depends, and know that "survival" doesn't always mean a good quality of life.

    My own DD was born at 28 weeks gestation. No one could have predicted her outcome so we were advised of what might happen (might never walk, talk, eat, see, hear ... might have cerebral palsy or other conditions, etc.). She somehow defied all the odds and is a perfectly normal 10 year old who gets straight As, is involved in music and sports and has had absolutely no lasting effects as a result of her prematurity.

    Answer by FootballMom85 at 8:57 AM on Apr. 17, 2011

  • That is beautiful. :)

    Comment by jessiskinner200 (original poster) at 1:51 PM on Apr. 17, 2011

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