small babies (SGA)

Rumaisa Rahman
8.6 ounces (244g)

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


Rumaisa 8.6 ounces (244g) 19 September 2004 - Chicago

Rumaisa Rahman weighed 8.6 ounces (244g)Rumaisa Rahman weighed 8.6 ounces (244g) or less than a can of soft drink, and was just 9.5 inches (24 cm) long. She has a twin, Hiba, who weighed 1 pound 4 ounces (563g) at birth. The babies were conceived naturally and the twins were delivered by Caesarean section at 25 weeks and six days on September 19 2004 at Loyola University Medical Center.

Their mother, Mahajabeen Shaik, 23, developed severe pre-eclampsia, a disorder characterised by high blood pressure and other problems, during pregnancy. She and her husband, Mohammed Abdul Rahman, 32, are originally from Hyderabad, India. Rumaisa means "white as milk" in India, while Hiba means "gift from God".

The twins were placed on ventilators for a few weeks and fed intravenously for a week or two until nurses could give them breast milk through feeding tubes. They were able to start drinking from bottles after about 10 weeks. Both girls have undergone laser surgery to correct vision problems that are common in premature babies.

Rumaisa Rahman born on September 19 2004 replaced Madeline Mann, born in 1989, as the world's smallest baby. At 1.3 ounces (37grams) smaller than Madeline Mann, Madeline measured a tiny 9 3/4 inches (24cm) in length. Madeline Mann, the previous record holder as smallest known surviving premature baby, returned to Loyola Hospital in 2004 for a celebration. At 15, she was described as a lively honor 'A' grade student, though small for her age, at 4 feet and 7 inches (1.4 Metre).

UPDATE: 21.Dec.2004 - Rumaisa made her first public appearance
hiba -left rumaisia -rightThe world's smallest known surviving baby has made her first public appearance at a US hospital, alongside her slightly larger twin sister. Rumaisa's Indian-born parents hope to take her and sister Hiba to their home in the city by early next month. Mom Mahajabeen Shaik said she was thankful beyond words when she first got to hold the girls in their second month. "It's a blessing, it's a great blessing," she said.

Doctors had waited to announce the girls' birth until after it was clear they were healthy and were nearly ready to leave the hospital. "They're maintaining their body temperature, they don't need an incubator.... They're normal babies," said Dr William MacMillan at Loyola.

Hiba weighed 563g (1 pound 4 ounces) at birth, and has now reached 2.25kg (5 pounds). She may leave the hospital by the end of the month, but Rumaisa will probably have to stay until early January. Rumaisa still only weighs 1.18kg (2 pounds 10 ounces).

UPDATE: 08.Feb.2005 - Rumaisa Rahman goes home
15 weeks prematureRumaisa Rahman was born in September, 15 weeks premature, weighing only 8.6 ounces (244g). That's about the size of a cellphone. She was discharged on Tuesday from Loyola University Medical Center in the Chicago suburb of Maywood. She currently weighs 5.5 pounds (2.49 kg) and is more than 16 inches (43 centimeters) long.

A Loyola doctor says Rumaisa's prognosis is very good and she is expected to develop normally. She still requires around-the-clock oxygen. This is common for premature babies, as their lungs have not developed properly at birth. However, it is hoped that Rumaisa will be gradually weaned from the oxygen tank. Her fraternal twin sister, Hiba, was discharged on January 9. Hiba was only 1 pound, 4 ounces (563g) at birth but now weighs 8.5 pounds (3.85kg) and is 19 inches (48cm) long.

According to the hospital, more than 1,700 newborns weighing less than 2 pounds (900g) have been cared for there in the past 20 years. Stephen Davidow, a hospital spokesman, said a routine delivery costs about $6,000, while caring for a premature baby costs about $5,000 a day. Rumaisa was covered by Medicaid, hospital officials said.
UPDATE: 19.Sept.2005 - Rumaisa and Hiba Rahman - First birthday
At just a year old, Rumasia had already gained fame as the lightest baby ever born and is listed in The Guinness Book of World Records. Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago - where Rumaisa was born - hosted a birthday party for both her and her fraternal sister, Hilba. Rumaisa and Hiba Rahman - First birthdayRumaisa and Hiba, got the full treatment on their first birthday: a full chorus of "Happy Birthday," a cake with enough icing to coat their hands and mouths.

At one year old Hiba weighed 17 pounds (7.6kg) while little Rumaisa [right] weighed 13 pounds (5.9kg) and 2 feet tall (60cm). Her doctor says she's not just surviving, she's thriving. About 20 pounds (9kg) is average weight for a 1 year old.

Both girls have steadily improved since birth although they are both underweight for their age. Doctors who took care of Rumaisa and Hiba while they were still in the hospital believe that they should not have any major handicaps growing up although they may be smaller than average as adults.

LATEST: 19.Sept.2007 - Rumaisa and Hiba Rahman - Third birthday
The twins now at 3 years old are doing very well, Rumaisa is in good health, her weight is 25 pounds (11.3 kilograms) and is 34 inches (87 centimeters) tall. She had mild motor delay, but walked at 1 year old, attends preschool and no learning or behavior problems reported.

Previously, Madeline Mann, who was also born at Loyola Hospital, held the record at 9.9 ounces (281g) when she was born in 1989. Madeline is now attending high school in the Chicago area.



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

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