Usually, the earliest a baby can survive is about 22 weeks gestation. The age of viability is 24 weeks. At 22 weeks, there’s a 0-10% chance of survival; at 24 weeks the survival rate is 40-70%.
By the time you’re 24 weeks pregnant, the baby has a chance of survival if they are born. Most babies born before this time cannot live because their lungs and other vital organs are not developed enough. The care that can now be given in baby (neonatal) units means more and more babies born early do survive.
A baby born between 20 and 26 weeks is a considered to be periviable, or born during the window when a fetus has a chance of surviving outside the womb. These babies are called “micro-preemies.” A baby born before 24 weeks has less than a 50 percent chance at survival, say the experts at University of Utah Health.
Generally, your baby will be called an embryo from conception until the eighth week of development. After the eighth week, the baby will be called a fetus until it’s born.
A baby born weighing just 245g (8.6oz), believed to be the tiniest on record to survive premature birth, has been discharged from hospital in the US. Baby Saybie weighed the same as a large apple when she was born at 23 weeks and three days in December 2018.
A preterm or premature baby is delivered before 37 weeks of your pregnancy. Extremely preterm infants are born 23 through 28 weeks. Moderately preterm infants are born between 29 and 33 weeks. Late preterm infants are born between 34 and 37 weeks.
Infants born before 28 weeks of pregnancy are called “extremely premature.” If your infant is born this early, you likely will face some hard decisions. How many of these babies survive being born?
|Weeks of pregnancy||Survival rates|
|23||Nearly 2 to 3 out of 10 survived (about 7 to 8 out of 10 died)|
The outlook for babies born at 22 and 23 weeks is not sunny, but it is improving. In two multicenter studies published in 2015 and 2018, 23 and 38 percent of babies born at 22 weeks and given intensive care survived to hospital discharge. For 23 – week babies, the survival rate was as high as 55 percent.
The weeks of pregnancy don’t fit neatly into months, so seven months can begin between 25 weeks and 27 weeks pregnant and extend up to week 28 through 31.
A sunshine baby is one who was born before a miscarriage, stillbirth, infant death or other early loss of a child. Just as a rainbow baby represents the hope after a storm, a sunshine baby represents the calm before. The child lost is often referred to as an “angel baby.”
The answer can be confusing because there are several different ways the weeks of pregnancy can be split into months. It turns out that six months pregnant could start at week 21, 22, or 23 and extend through week 24 to week 27.
If born before week 37, your baby is considered a “preterm” or “premature” baby. If born before week 28, your baby is considered “extremely premature.” Babies born between weeks 20 to 25 have a very low chance of surviving without neurodevelopmental impairment.
A baby’s heartbeat can be detected by transvaginal ultrasound as early as 3 to 4 weeks after conception, or 5 to 6 weeks after the first day of the last menstrual period. This early embryonic heartbeat is fast, often about 160-180 beats per minutes, twice as fast as us adults’!
At six weeks pregnant, your baby’s body is taking on a C shape, and small buds that will become his arms and legs are visible. His tiny facial features, including his eyes, nose, ears, chin and cheeks, are also beginning to form.
In the English language, the word fetus is defined as: “a developing human from usually two months after conception to birth” . It is also interesting to note that, in Latin, “ fetus ” means “ little one,” referring to the relatively small size of the preborn baby.