Marian Chapman Information

Marian Chapman
10 ounces (283g)

small babies (SGA) and Low birth weight (LBW)
Marian Chapman Low birth weight


Marian Chapman - UK, Born 10 ounces (283g) at 34 weeks

For many years, The Guinness Book of World Records, The Human Body Section, Reproductivity, Babies read:
  • "Smallest. The lowest birth weight on record for a surviving infant is 10oz. in the case of Marion Chapman, born in South Shields, England, on June 5th, 1938."
   [In 1989 that spot was taken over by Madeline Mann, Florida USA, born 9.9 ounces (280 g).]

Her mother was unaware of being pregnant and Marian was born into a chamber pot. Birth weight recorded as 10 oz (283g), length 12.25 inches (31 cm); born unattended; nursed by Dr. D. A. Shearer, who fed her hourly for the first 30 hours with brandy, glucose, and water through a fountain-pen filler and Dr Shearer said he could have put her in his breast pocket.

Nearly all babies in 1938 were born at home, usually delivered by a neighbour. In 1938 there were no such things as incubators, with their oxygen supply and temperature controls. Marian was placed in a washing basket lined with cotton wool to keep her warm.

Marian Chapman - England Daily Mirror pictures - June 1938
Marian Chapman UK 1938 preemie  Marian 10oz June 5th, 1938
She had to be wrapped up in cotton wool to keep her warm. The 'miracle baby' soon became international news and Marian remained a celebrity throughout her life.

 The two women, both wearing face masks, are weighing little Marian on the scales to measure her growth. Despite being so small, tiny fragile Marian Chapman survived.
Marian's feeding bottle
Marian's napkin ring
 Discovery Museum - Tyne & Wear, UK
In the first days of her life, Marian was fed with brandy and glucose from a fountain pen filler. When she had grown a little, she was fed with this feeding bottle.

Among items not normally on display are a set of clothes made for the Tyneside baby, who for a long time had the lowest birth weight on record for a surviving infant. Her first clothes were made out of silk, because her skin was too sensitive for other fabrics, and for a long time she was dressed in doll's clothing.

Her first official visitor was Nancy Bradley, the Mayoress of South Shields. She gave Marian this gift of a silver napkin ring, which has been engraved with the letter 'M'.
Marian Chapman - Her weight progress:
  • She weighed 10 ounces (283 grams) at birth; Marian at 3 weeks weighed 1 lb 13 oz (825 g);
    By her first birthday she had reached the weight of 13 lbs 14 oz (6.3 kg)
    at 2 years old, she weighed 19 lb 3oz (8.7 kg) and at 2 and half, was 22 lb (10 kg)
Marian Chapman article
Marian Chapman 3years old     
[Left] This is an article about Marian from June 1941, she was now a fine, healthy, intelligent 3 year old child.

Marian Chapman (Tay Street) South Shields, was well known around the local Tyneside area. Locals could be heard to say in the local accent -   "she was, Nee bigger than half a pund o' butter".
  • She grew up to be of normal size, often seen walking her little terrier in Pine and Oak Avenues.
  • She worked for many years as a typist at Reyrolles, in Hebburn.
  • She weighed seven and a half stones (106 lbs) (48 kg) on her 21st birthday and later married Hugh Robin (Bob) Taggart at Harton Church, South Shields, Tyne and Wear.
  • They moved to Bristol where Marian died, aged 44 years, in 1982.


Small babies - Low Birth Weight (LBW) or (SGA)

  • At full term, the average baby will be about 20 inches (51 cm) long and will weigh approximately 6 to 9 pounds (2700 to 4000 grams).

premature babySmall 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...
Low Birth Weight (LBW) and (SGA)   ¦   High Birth Weight (HBW) and (LGA)



Some of the world's lowest birth weight babies

Born weighing less than a can of soda
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.

For more information on these tiny premature babies, some photos and updates, click on the name links in the table below.

Birth Weight
ounces  ¦   grams
of Birth


Place of Birth
8.4 oz 244 g 2004 Rumaisa (F) Chicago, IL,USA 25 weeks
9.1 oz 259 g 2009 Oliviyanna (F) Alabama, US 24 weeks
9.3 oz 265 g 2006 - (F) Tokyo, Japan 25 weeks
9.7 oz 275 g 2009 ''Tom Thumb'' (M) Göttingen, Germany 25 weeks
9.88 oz 280 g 1989 Madeline (F) Chicago ,IL,USA 26 weeks
10 oz 283 g 2006 Amillia (F) Miami, FL,USA 23 weeks
10 oz 283 g 1938 Marian (F) South Shields, UK 34 weeks
10 oz 285 g 2002 ''Perla'' (F) Florence, Italy 27 weeks
10.2 oz 289 g 1999 - (F) Tokyo, Japan 23 weeks
10.24 oz 290 g 2000 Sophia (F) Portland, OR,USA 25 weeks
10.26 oz 290 g 2001 - (F) Ulm, Germany 23 weeks
10.26 oz 290 g 2007 - (F) Houston, TX,USA 23 weeks
10.6 oz 300 g 2000 - (F) Holon, Israel 25 weeks
10.6 oz 300 g 2007 Kimberly (F) Göttingen, Germany 25 weeks
10.7 oz 303 g 2002 - (F) Landstuhl, Germany 26 weeks
10.8 oz 305 g 2004 Zoe Koz (F) Naperville, IL,USA 27 weeks
10.9 oz 310 g 2000 - (F) Evansville, IN,USA 26 weeks
11.7 oz 332 g 2004 - (M) Des Moines, IA,USA 26 weeks
12.5 oz 354 g 2007 Ruby Dunn (F) Bristol, UK 26 weeks

If you liked this page, please share it, or give it a Like, +1, Tweet, or Pin.



  Pregnancy Tools

Due Date and
Weeks Calculator:
  Last Menstrual Period:

  Estimated Conception:
  Estimated Due Date:
  Since LMP:

Babies x2

Names Search

Enter a name
or word that
appear in its meaning:


Web Search


For RSS Feed: Subscribe RSS Feed