Lifewatch: Premature babies

Reported by Claire Hosmann - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - A Pennsylvania baby was born 14 weeks early, but is now healthy and thriving.

At 80-days-old and weighing three pounds, Brittany Rideout's baby has come a very long way, but the baby's survival wasn't always a sure thing.

"When I was pregnant with her I had two strokes and two seizures, also preclampsia - but she still survived," said Brittany.

Brittany has Lupus and the pregnancy was threatening her life, so doctors delivered the baby 14 weeks early.

"I thought 'there's no chance," said pediatrician Dr. Toby Yanowitz.  "What's the chance of this tiny baby surviving? She's amazing. Most babies under a pound don't survive."

Brittany has some advice for other parents facing the same challenges.

"I'll tell them do not give up on your child," said Brittany. "If they are small of have a disease, or anything. There's a God in this world and if it's meant to be, then it will be."

In recent months medical care for premature babies has improved dramatically.

In the Wilmington area, New Hanover Medical Center opened an entire wing dedicated to moms and their newborns.

To learn more about local care for premature babies and their mothers, click here.