Madeline 9.9 ounces (280 g) 27 June 1989 - Florida
Her 36-year-old mother developed pre-eclampsia, a potentially dangerous condition that raised her blood pressure and squeezed the blood flow to the developing fetus. Doctors decided to perform a Caesarean section at 27 weeks gestation, 13 weeks before her due date.
Though Madeline was born only 13 weeks premature in 1989, her weight was equal to those infants born at 16 or 17 weeks gestation.
Her weight of 9.9 ounces (280 g) was about a third of the weight of babies of a similar age and only a fraction of the 7 pounds (3 kg) that newborns normally weigh after a full 40-week pregnancy.
"Although many premature babies survive, Madeline's survival and the level of her development are truly miracles," said Dr. Jonathan Muraskas, who provided critical care to Madeline in the neonatal intensive care unit at Loyola for four months after she was born.
At two years of age, Madeline had a Mental Development Index score of 86 (normal range, 84 to 116) on the Bayley Scales of Infant Development and was walking independently. Toilet training took place at three years of age. At five years of age, her visual acuity was 20/200 (in the right eye) and 20/100 (in the left) and was corrected with eyeglasses. Her only hospitalization was at four years of age, for pneumonia. She continues to have reactive airway disease (Asthma).
Update: 27.June.1994 - First five years for Madeline
She started kindergarten at six years of age. At age four, she had to return to hospital for pneumonia, which delayed her entry into kindergarten by one year. She attends a regular school and a workup for failure to thrive and short stature at three and nine years of age, respectively, revealed no unusual abnormalities.
Update: 27.June.2004 - Madeline aged 5 to 15
Since her birth, she has gained an average of nearly 4 pounds (1.8 kg) in weight and almost 4 inches (9.7 cm) in height annually. The 50th percentile for weight and height for girls at the age of 14 years are 110 pounds (50 kg) and 5 feet 4 ins (163 cm), respectively.
Despite her present weight of 56 lb (25.4 kg) and height of 4 ft 6 ins (136.5 cm), no psychosocial maladaptations have been reported. In fact, Madeline has been an honor student during her time in junior high school. She volunteers in her community and has had a cumulative grade-point average of 3.70 out of 4.00 for the past eight years.
She is getting prepared to achieve another major milestone when she starts high school on Aug. 25, 2004. The results of her high-school entrance examinations were in the 83rd percentile nationally.
Madeline, at 15, suffers from little worse than asthma. She is small for her age, she also needs to wear eyeglasses. Madeline lives in Chicago, where she enjoys playing the violin, horseback riding and in-line skating.
Update: - Madeline aged 15 +
As Madeline cut into the cake, she stood by the window to the neonatal unit, where her parents had been for hundreds of hours, hanging on every labored breath and blip on the monitor.
Back when their daughter was delivered by Caesarean section, the parents couldn't even envision reaching such a milestone.
"I remember hearing the softest sound, almost like a kitten," said Robyn Leslie, 51, Madeline's mother when she remembers her delivery 15 years ago. "Then I realized it was Madeline crying once she was born," noted Leslie.
"It's all pretty much a blur," admits her father, Jim Mann, 53. "All I remember is that doctor turned to me and said: `She's pink and she's peeing.' Being our first--and only--we didn't know what to expect."
Leslie was unable to clearly see Madeline when the doctors took her closer to her because her vision was blurred from the effects of a medication. She had no idea what to expect because of Madeline's extremely low birth weight. "The doctors warned us about not looking too far ahead," said her mother, her eyes brimming with tears at the memory. "However, she has overcome a lot of barriers," said Leslie. "Madeline has written her own story, and is doing so well both academically and socially."
Last summer, she joined in a volunteer project giving out blankets to children with cancer. She has worked for a food pantry, assisted and interacted with residents at a nursing home, and most recently, returned from a mission trip in Grand Rapids, Michigan to rehabilitate houses. In her spare time, Madeline likes to listen to music, chat with friends on the Internet, go camping and ride horses.
Her high school entrance exams placed her in the 83rd percentile nationally. In addition, she has no major health issues. Her only hospitalization occurred when she was 4 years old due to pneumonia, although she has occasionally experienced bouts of asthma.
The birthday girl and her friends toured the neonatal intensive care unit, where tiny creatures with translucent skin lie curled up under heat lamps and plastic tents, quietly defying the odds. Maddy understood, as she hadn't before, what her survival meant.
"All I could think of was, `Whoa ... I was even smaller than them,'" she said.
Her mother had a different thought. "Every time I hear about another tiny preemie, my heart goes out to the parents, because you don't know what's waiting around the corner ... and there are no assurances," Leslie said. "You just have to know that everyone is trying their best, but after that, it's just in the hands of God."
A big celebration for two premature babies born 17 years apart at Loyola University Medical Center.One of them once held the title of the world's smallest baby.
Update: - March 2007
Madeline Mann and Madelyn Leone never met before, but the two have a lot more in common than their names. Madeline Mann weighed just 9.9 ounces when she was born in 1989, making her the smallest baby in the world at the time.
It's even hard for Mann to believe she was once so small. "I see babies that are bigger than I was and I was smaller than that baby? Like wow, it's mind blowing," Mann said.
Mind-blowing for her doctors too, who are quick to point out that other than her asthma and petite frame, Mann is a very healthy girl and she has not had any developmental problems. That's why they wanted her to meet Madelyn Leone and her family. Leone was born last October weighing just 13 ounces. "They're very similar. They're like twins. They really are," said Lisa Leone, Madelyn's mother.
Madelyn Leone's parents say it is comforting to see how well the older Madeline has turned out. "It's amazing. We just met her today, and she's beautiful, and she's done so well. It's a great inspiration to us," Leone said. She added she has already noticed that, like the older Madeline, her Madelyn is a strong fighter. Doctors say Madelyn is doing so well she will be released from the hospital this week.
The world's smallest baby right now is Rumaisa Rahman. She and her twin sister were born at the same hospital. Rumaisa weighed just 8.8 ounces at the time. She was also going to be at the get together, but had to cancel because of an ear infection.
Madeline Mann, who weighed 280 grams — just under 10 ounces — at birth, turned 18 in June.
Update: - June 2008
She is an 'A' grade student and will be a high school senior in the fall.
The chance of surviving without a major handicap depends on gestation length, not birth weight.
At 23 weeks, the chance of survival is "maybe" 20%, and the risk of a major handicap is nearly 90%.
The outlook for babies born at 25 weeks, is far better: 75% survive, only 10% of them with a major handicap. About half will have a mild handicap, such as a learning disability, often not apparent until they're in school.
"These kids do tend to be smaller than their peers, especially skinny, but most of them are functioning in regular classrooms, and the families are glad to have them," says University of Iowa pediatrician Edward Bell.
Survivors are more likely to be girls than boys, and they're all born small for gestational age. Doctors can't predict which tiny babies will do as well as Madeline and which will not.
Small babies - Low Birth Weight (LBW) or (SGA)
Small for gestational age (SGA) babies are those whose birth weight lies below the 10th percentile for that gestational age. Low birth weight (LBW), is sometimes used to define a baby that weighs less than 5 lb 8 oz (2500 g) regardless of gestational age. One third of babies born with a low birth weight are also small for gestational age.
Other definitions include Very Low Birth Weight (VLBW) which is less than 3 lb 5 oz (1500 g), and Extremely Low Birth Weight (ELBW) which is less than 2 lb 3 oz (1000 g).
About 10 percent of fetuses are low birth weight. A health care provider may suspect fetal growth restriction if the mother's uterus measurement (fundal height) is lower than expected. This can be confirmed with a series of ultrasounds that will monitor how quickly the fetus is growing.
The main causes for Low Birth Weight:
The two main causes of LBW are early delivery, also known as preterm birth, and poor fetal growth. About 70% of all LBW babies are born preterm - before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy. The remaining 30% of low birth weight babies are born at full term, but did not grow properly in the womb.
More Information on...
Some of the world's lowest birth weight babies
In the table below are some of the many Low Birth Weight babies born around the world. These tiny babies when born; many weeks premature, weighed less than a can of soda.