Asia's Smallest Surviving Baby Was Born Weighing Less Than A Chocolate Bar

Manushi was born premature in India

In June last year, Manushi's 48-year old mother suffered from high blood pressure halfway through the pregnancy.

Born via emergency Caesarean section after an ultrasound during Seeta's pregnancy revealed that there was no blood flow to the foetus, little Manushi was delivered at just 28 weeks. When she was born, the baby weighed just 14 ounces and measured a mere 8.6in.

And with paper-thin skin, underdeveloped organs and feet the size of a thumbnail, it was unlikely that she would survive.

Months later she has defied expectations after being well enough to be discharged from Jivanta Children's Hospital NICU hospital in Rajasthan, weighing 5.2lbs (2.3kgs).

"She could not be fed adequately due to the immaturity of her gut."We had to start the baby on total parenteral nutrition, which basically means giving all the essential nutrients such as amino acids, lipids, carbohydrates, minerals, multivitamins and trace elements directly into blood circulation". The doctors told her parents that she had 0.5 percent chance of surviving. Her brain functioned normally and her eyes developed at the standard pace.

In the first few days of Manushi's life she lost weight, however, after seven weeks, she was able to start taking milk.

Manushi was born premature in India
Newslions MEGA TINY The tot's foot had been the size of her dad's thumbnail

"She was struggling to breathe, so was immediately put on advanced respiratory support to expand her tiny, immature lungs".

Dr Sunil Janged, chief neo-natologist added: 'When the baby was born, we were uncertain of what could happen.

This tiny newborn weighing just 400 grams is thought to be one of the smallest babies ever to survive.

As Seeta was the only hope for her parents who came from a poor financial background and had yearned for a child for 35 years, the hospital made a decision to bear 75% of the cost of the treatment for the premature baby. By her fourth month, she was able to drink from spoon. The hospital also wanted the cost reduction to send a positive message out to the local community. Especially in the state like Rajasthan where female baby abortions are so prevalent, this step is very necessary to raise awareness and stop the bad practice. The doctors who cared for Manushi said they hope her life will make a statement to the Indian society about the value of girls.

"In Rajasthan the girls [like this] are still considered a burden, and are thrown in the trash immediately after birth or are left in the orphanage. The couple treated their baby girl who had a negligible chance of survival", Hindustan Times quoted Dr Ajay Gambhir, former president of the Neonatology Forum of India, as saying.

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