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Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns Announces World's Smallest Surviving Baby

SAN DIEGO, May 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns, the largest maternity hospital in California, is proud to announce the birth of the world's smallest baby ever to survive.

Weighing only 245 grams (8.6 ounces), Saybie* was born in December 2018. After a nearly five-month stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Sharp Mary Birch, she was discharged home this month as a healthy 5-pound infant.

Baby Saybie is believed to be the world's smallest surviving newborn, according to the official Tiniest Babies Registry, maintained by the University of Iowa. She officially weighed in at 7 grams less than the previous smallest baby, who was born in Germany in 2015.

For comparison, at birth, Saybie weighed as much as a large apple.

After experiencing severe pregnancy complications, Saybie's mother gave birth via emergency cesarean section at 23 weeks, 3 days gestation in the womb. A typical pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. Doctors said the preterm birth was necessary after they found that the baby was not gaining weight and her mother's life was at immediate risk.

At Saybie's birth, Sharp Mary Birch's Advanced Life Support team, along with neonatologist Dr. Paul Wozniak, worked to stabilize her before she could be transferred to the NICU.

Saybie was considered a micro preemie – a baby born before 28 weeks' gestation. These preterm newborns face a variety of life-threatening medical challenges and their survival rate is greatly compromised.

Saybie experienced virtually none of the medical challenges typically associated with micro preemies, which can include brain bleeds, and lung and heart issues. 

Sharp Mary Birch, which has the largest Level III NICU in San Diego County, is recognized among the best hospitals in the world in caring for micro preemies. The hospital's multidisciplinary team of experts includes neonatologists; nurses; respiratory, occupational and physical therapists; social workers; pharmacists; and nutritionists, among others.

"No one expects their baby to be born with complications," said Trisha Khaleghi, senior vice president and chief executive officer at Sharp Mary Birch. "But when the unexpected occurs, Sharp Mary Birch is equipped with the latest technologies, equipment, research and specially trained experts to care for even the world's smallest baby."

*While Saybie's family gave their permission to share her story, they wish to remain anonymous so they can focus on caring for their new daughter. The family has allowed us to use "Saybie," a name used by her NICU care team during her stay.

Learn more about Saybie at

Baby Saybie Quick Facts:

Gestation at birth:
23 weeks, 3 days (typical pregnancy is 40 weeks)

Weight at birth:
245 grams (8.6 ounces)

Length at birth:
9 inches

Weight at hospital discharge:
5.6 pounds

Length at hospital discharge:
16 inches

Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns is San Diego's only hospital dedicated exclusively to women and newborns. Sharp Mary Birch offers a full range of maternity, neonatal, and women's surgical services, and delivers over 8,000 babies annually — more than any other hospital in California. The hospital has nine operating rooms; 206 beds, including the region's largest Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with 84 beds; a 14-bed Women's Acute Care Unit; a Neonatal Research Institute discovering new, leading-edge treatments and practices to improve the health of newborns across the world, and a NICU Follow-Up Clinic, which provides comprehensive assessments and interventions to help ensure NICU graduates meet crucial developmental milestones. To learn more about Sharp Mary Birch, visit

Sharp HealthCare, San Diego's most comprehensive health care delivery system, is recognized for clinical excellence in cardiac, cancer, multi-organ transplantation, orthopedics, rehabilitation, behavioral health, women's health, home health and hospice services. Sharp HealthCare has been widely acclaimed for its commitment to transform the health care experience for patients, physicians and staff through an organization-wide performance improvement initiative called The Sharp Experience. The Sharp HealthCare system includes four acute-care hospitals, three specialty hospitals, three affiliated medical groups, a health plan, and numerous outpatient facilities and programs. To learn more about Sharp, visit  


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SOURCE Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns