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Infant Survival Rates during Pregnancy

Updated on March 28, 2015
photo above ~ my son in the NICU All photos and text on this page belong to Cari_Kay unless otherwise noted.
photo above ~ my son in the NICU All photos and text on this page belong to Cari_Kay unless otherwise noted.

Baby Survival Rates by Weeks Gestation

When I was pregnant with my son, my pregnancy was a series of complications. I was high risk. My uterus is bicornuate (although we did not know that until my c-section). I bled heavily throughout the second trimester. My physician believed my son had Down Syndrome. They told me twice during the second trimester that I was most likely miscarrying. The list went on. As a result, everybody, myself included, believed, at the very least, my son would be a preemie.

Of course, like any expecting mother, this worried me tremendously. I ended up finding a chart on infant survivability rates when I was about 20 weeks and kept it posted next to my computer. While this chart might worry some women, for me it provided solace.

Once I got to 22 weeks, I knew there was hope and each week that hope grew.

A Word of Caution: I don't know what your situation is. This chart is meant to provide comfort. If this type of page causes you stress, you should close this page immediately. Some women have a serious risk of having a premature delivery and each week that goes by gives a bit more comfort and that is the intention of this page!

DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional. The information I share is meant to supplement the information given you by your doctor. If you feel your doctor is not doing enough for you or not willing to listen to your concerns, I strongly encourage you to take what you've learned here and get a second opinion.

One in eight babies in the United States is born prematurely

Premature Baby
Premature Baby | Source

Infant Survivability Rates

by gestational week when born*

Up until 21 weeks: 0% survival rate

at 22 weeks: 0-10% survival rate

at 23 weeks: 10-35% survival rate

at 24 weeks: 40-70% survival rate

at 25 weeks: 50-80% survival rate

at 26 weeks: 80-90% survival rate

at 27 weeks: greater than 90% survival rate

---- ---- ---- ----

* according to the March of Dimes

"Big things often have small beginnings"

— unknown

Some Thoughts About Those Numbers

and a quiz you can take

As you can see, each week you can keep your baby in there, you will increase his or her odds of survival.

Unfortunately, a number of the babies born before 25 weeks do not survive very long after the birth but it is important to note that a number of them do survive.

The Neonatal Research Network has a quick quiz you can take if your infant is a very early preemie (up until 25 weeks). You put in your infants information (i.e. gestational age, birth weight, sex, etc...) and you can compare similar outcomes (i.e. survival rates, impairments, etc...).

While there's life, there's hope.

"James Elgin Gill (born on 20 May 1987 in Ottawa, Canada) was the earliest premature baby in the world. He was 128 days premature (21 weeks and 5 days gestation) and weighed 1 pound 6 ounces (624 g). He survived and is quite healthy."

Read his story:

Some Extreme Preemies in the News

Yes, even before 25 weeks, there can be hope.

(September 2014) Note: since my pages have migrated to Hubpages, I know a lot of links are no longer visible. I will be updating this soon. Thank you!


Smallest Baby Boy a Marvel to Medical History

Born at 25 weeks, little Jonathan was smaller than most micro-preemies born before 24 weeks. Today, he is a happy, healthy four year old.

Miracle baby growing up

Although little Tage was born at 26 weeks. his mother's water broke at only 16 weeks. Just a sweet story about his life five years later.

Extremely premature babies: 'We wondered if it was right to let him live'

This mother struggled when her baby was born at 24 weeks.

Most Premature Set of UK Twins Ever Survives, Born at 23 Weeks

Boy Born Micro Preemie Enjoys 1st Thanksgiving

19-month-old Owen had his first Thanksgiving at home.

Parents' gift to hospital honors 'unbelievable' premature baby

This couple gives back to their hospital.

Preemie twins beating the odds

Preemie twins born at 23 weeks are beating the odds!

Charlotte baby one of world's tiniest; 9.6 ounces at birth

Baby Kenna will soon be going home!

Hospital envisions normal life for preemie facing blindness

born at only 23 weeks, little Alyssa is undergoing treatment to save her eyesight.

Poor Health Linked to Very Preemie Birth Stabilizes by Adolescence

An article about the Ronald McDonald house and the Hartley family. Their son was born at just 23 1/2 weeks.

Housing helps family An article about the Ronald McDonald house and the Hartley family. Their son was born at just 23 1/2 weeks.

World's Youngest Baby Born In Miami "So tiny that many doctors would have let the baby die: meet Melinda Star Guido, 9.5 ounces at birth"

Grady's smallest preemie growing up beautifully An update, three years later, on little Gracie Lynn who was born at just 22 weeks.

Julene's story born at just 25 weeks. A good article on the importance of 'kangaroo care'.

and, possibly, the most famous preemie right now

Josie Duggar story born at only 25 weeks while the world watches.

These are just a few of the stories out there. If you do a google search, you'll find many more.

"Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."

— Winnie the Pooh

Some Positive News Stories

about extreme preemies

if a link is broken, please, leave a comment and I'll remove the link. Thank you!

Parents of micro preemie defy the odds to raise son with some help from the Internet

"Today, readers will find the blog littered with pictures of Super Jack, now almost 5 years old. Not only did he defy the doctors’ 5 percent survival rate, but today Jack can see, hear, walk and communicate."

'Extreme preemies' mostly do catch up

"...they scored the same on measures of self-esteem and life satisfaction as those who were normal weight at birth."

Most 'Extreme Preemies' Grow Into Happy, Healthy Teens

Read this article and knew I needed to share it. According to this study, extreme preemies are more likely to be self confident and not engage in risky behaviors as teenagers.

More 'Extreme' Preemies Surviving

Advances in medical care now mean that more and more extreme preemies are now surviving their first year.

Oxygen Treatment May Improve the Odds for Extreme Preemies

Follow-up study found it helped more preemies make it to toddlerhood

Symptoms of Preterm Labor

talk to your doctor if you have any of these symptoms

* Low backache

* Contractions occurring, on average, every 10 minutes or less

* Cramps - can feel like your period or intestinal

* Leaking fluid or vaginal discharge

* Bleeding

* Pressure in lower abdominal area

* Feeling ill

Articles on Preventing Pre-Term Labor

Blood test to warn of premature birth 'could help thousands of mothers-to-be

Avoiding Premature Labor's page talks a bit about detecting the signs of possible preterm labor.

Can You Prevent Preterm Labor?'s take on preventing early labor.

Premature Labor: How to Prevent It Doing your best to keep your baby in its uterine home until it's ready to face the world.

Are you pregnant?

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I would love to hear from you. Your comments may help others going through the same scare or worry. Thank you!

If I don't reply to you here, please feel free to e-mail me directly at


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    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 2 years ago

      Oh Amanda, I am so very sorry. My heart just hurts for you. I remember being panicked about going into labor early and that nothing might be done. I don't know what you can do but I think speaking to an attorney might be a good thing. I just can't believe they didn't even try to help your little one. ((((hugs))))

    • profile image

      Amanda 2 years ago

      I was pregnant with twin boys. My membranes ruptured and started coming out I had a cervical stitch put in prior at three months of pregnancy I went into full labour at 22 weeks and 4 days. My stitch ripped and I gave birth to my son bum first and he was still born 24 hours later no one was in the room I was told to push by a lady who came in who I didn't know but she was a obyn and then I delivered my second boy in his sack without the water breaking he was live she told me to hold him close for I only had a minute with him. she leaves after I cut his cord gives him to me I held him he was squeezing my fingers and I can see him gasping for air very small short breaths I begged for the nurse in there to help him she said docs orders he's to young 2 hours later my son is still alive his heart beating without medical attention they waited for him to pass and he did at 2 1/2 hours later. I feel that if they would have helped my son he would be here today I need some advice was this clearly mal practice? And what can I do?

    • sarita garg profile image

      sarita 3 years ago from Hisar

      This is a real full of information lens. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • socialcx1 profile image

      socialcx1 4 years ago

      Wonderful and informative lens.Thanks

    • profile image

      tahirmahmood 4 years ago


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