World’s ‘Smallest Baby at Birth’ Home After Thirteen Months in Hospital

A baby born in Singapore, thought to be the world’s smallest at birth at 7.5 ounces, was just discharged to go home after spending thirteen months in the hospital.

A baby born in June 2020 at Singapore’s National University Hospital, who is believed to be the world’s smallest baby to have survived premature birth, went home after over a year in the hospital. 

Kwek Yu Xuan was born almost four months early in an emergency C-section, weighing just 7.5 ounces — about as heavy as a softball or an apple. A registry managed by the University of Iowa lists an 8.1-ounce baby born in Germany in 2016 as the next-lightest baby to survive premature birth.

Yu Xuan spent 13 months in the neonatal intensive care unit, and was reliant on “multiple treatments and machines” for survival, according to the hospital. They added that the child was “active, cheerful and responsive” during her stay.

“Against the odds, with health complications present at birth, she has inspired people around her with her perseverance and growth.

“We are happy for the little fighter and her family, and proud of the care provided by our team,” the hospital continued in a Facebook post. “Our best wishes to Little Yu Xuan as she continues to grow, thrive and beat the odds every day.”

The baby is going home with chronic lung disease and pulmonary hypertension, two conditions that are common among extreme prematurity, but her doctors expect her to recover in time.

“It was a difficult journey for Yu Xuan and we greatly appreciate the concerted effort and benevolent support from our colleagues, donors as well as the larger community who have contributed to her survival and growth,” said Zubair Amin, the head and senior consultant at the hospital’s Department of Neonatology. “This was a team effort that embodies the spirit of care and compassion.”

Image source: National University Hospital Singapore