540 gm at birth, baby beats odds | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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540 gm at birth, baby beats odds

Shweta and Uday Udaani have named their four-month-old daughter Dhruvi, which means ‘firm’ in Sanskrit, and they fondly call her Twinkle because she is their “little star”.

mumbai Updated: Jun 06, 2010 00:11 IST
Neha Bhayana

Shweta and Uday Udaani have named their four-month-old daughter Dhruvi, which means ‘firm’ in Sanskrit, and they fondly call her Twinkle because she is their “little star”.

The Ghatkopar residents feel these names are apt for their first-born because she is literally little — she weighed only 540 gm at birth — and has determinedly battled odds to survive.

She is among the smallest premature babies to survive in the city.

Shweta (25) was sixth months pregnant when her blood pressure shot up and she was hospitalised. Her uncontrolled BP put both her and the baby at risk. After tests revealed that the baby was not getting adequate oxygen and had stopped growing, gynaecologist Dr Duru Shah took Shweta for an emergency Caesarean section at Breach Candy Hospital on February 9.

“We were really worried that the baby would not live. Doctors also said they would not know till the baby was out,” said Shweta, a national level pistol shooter.

Dhruvi was tiny, weighing little more than a half-litre cola bottle, at birth, but her wail was loud enough to comfort Shweta.

Doctors immediately put Dhruvi on ventilator in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit.

Over the next three months, she underwent more medical procedures than some people do in a lifetime but the expert care helped her pull through. She weighed 1.55 kg when she went home three months later, on May 11, and is doing well now.

“At 28 weeks of pregnancy, babies weigh around one kilo but Dhruvi’s weight was just 540 gm. It further dropped to 480 gm in the first week,” said paediatrician Dr Pankaj Parekh. “It is rare for such small babies to survive.”

Neonatologist Dr Cyrus Contractor said that even with good NICU care, there is just 25 to 50 per cent chance of the survival of a baby born after 27-28 weeks of gestation and weighing around the same as Dhruvi.

Shweta saw Dhruvi’s face fully for the first time only when the ventilator was taken off on March 27. “She had no flesh on her body but her cheeks were chubby,” she said.

Shweta is waiting for Dhruvi to become healthier so she can dress her.

“The tops meant for newborns are like nighties for Dhruvi because she is so small,” she said.