The further into your pregnancy you are the better your baby’s chance of survival if he is born early which is why attempts are usually made to stop labour. Your body is the best possible incubator for your baby. . However, with continuous advances in medicine, even babies born extremely early have a chance of survival.
- At 23 weeks babies have a 17 per cent of survival.
- At 24 weeks, the figure rises to 39 per cent
- By 25 weeks the survival rates are 50 per cent
As well as this, your baby’s weight is also important. Twenty years ago, about 20 per cent of babies weighing less than 1000 gms (2lb 2 oz) at birth survived. Nowadays, over 80 per cent survive.
In November 2006, new guidelines were put forward by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, recommending that babies born at or before 22 weeks gestation should not be resuscitated.
The guidelines in the Critical Care Decisions in Fetal and Neonatal Medicine report recommend that intensive care should not be given to babies born before 22 weeks and babies born between 22 and 23 weeks should not, in normal practice, be given intensive care unless parents makes a request and doctors agree.
Professor Margaret Brazier, who chaired the committee that produced the guidelines, said ” Natural instincts are to try and save all babies, even if the baby’s chances of survival are low.
“However, we don’t think it is always right to put a baby through the stress and pain of invasive treatment if the baby is unlikely to get any better and death is inevitable.”