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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is the earliest a hospital will deliver a baby?

    I'm 25 weeks pregnant and we have a family history of premature babies. What is the earliest stage a child can be safely delivered?
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  • Dr Shian Miller

    Gynaecologist, Obstetrician

    Dr Shian Miller is a Brisbane Obstetrician Gynaecologist who has rooms on Wickham Tce in Brisbane city and admitting rights at Greenslopes Private Hospital. She … View Profile

    Hi,

    This is a complex question and depends on what we mean by 'safe'.

    24 weeks gestation is considered to be the lower limit to when a baby can survive outside the womb. There have even been a few cases of 23 week gestation babies surviving. At 22 weeks gestation, there is no chance.

    Although a baby can survive being born at 24 weeks gestation, they are at high risk of not surviving the neonatal period due to increased risk of complications, including infections. Also, there is a high risk of disability. Of course, there are always cases where a baby born at 24 weeks goes on to adulthood with no apparent problems. 

    Development is better at 28 weeks gestation, and even better by 32 weeks gestation. But for a baby to be most likely to achieve their full potential, being born as close as possible to full term is best.

    All the best.

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