Mother gives birth to UK 'smallest premature baby in 20 years' at 11oz

Mother gives birth to UK 'smallest premature baby in 20 years' at 11oz

01/07/2022

Teenage mother, 17, who gave birth to UK’s ‘smallest premature baby in 20 years’ weighing just 11oz and with a 20 percent chance of survival says daughter Hannah is the ‘best thing to ever happen’

  • Ellie Paton, 17, gave birth at 25 weeks to Hannah Stibbles, who weighed 11oz
  • Baby Hannah was delivered by C-section at a Glasgow hospital on December 30
  • Hannah is thought to be smallest baby to survive in the UK in nearly two decades
  • Ms Paton and Brandon Stibbles were warned she had a 20% chance of survival
  • Pictures show Hannah covered in bubble wrap to keep her warm in an incubator

A teenage mother has given birth to an 11oz baby, who is believed to be the smallest premature baby born in the UK in 20 years.

Ellie Paton, 17, from Newmilns, Ayrshire, was 25 weeks pregnant when she delivered baby Hannah Stibbles by emergency C-section at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow on December 30.

Hannah, who weighed just 11oz (325g) at birth, was given a mere 20 per cent chance of survival and is thought to be the smallest baby to survive in the UK in nearly two decades.

Ms Paton and her partner Brandon Stibbles, 21, were warned by medics that ‘babies that small don’t survive’, but Hannah, whose due date was April 13, was born breathing on her own.

Ellie Paton, 17, from Newmilns, Ayrshire, she delivered baby Hannah Stibbles (pictured) by emergency C-section at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow on December 30

The new mother got to hold her daughter briefly once, while Mr Stibbles was able to change Hannah’s nappy, while she tightly grabbed his finger in a white-knuckle fist.

Photographs show Hannah in her incubator covered in bubble wrap to keep her warm, which is used as it is lighter than a blanket, but she often kicks it off, Mr Stibbles said.

The new parents, who have been together nearly 18 months, described Hannah as ‘the best thing to ever happen to them’.

Ms Paton said: ‘We are allowed to put our hands in the incubator, I have held her once – she sleeps on a thing called ‘the nest’.

‘When the nurse changed it I got to hold her up. It will be pretty soon we’re able to hold her.’

Mr Stibbles added: ‘We are loving it. It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to us.

‘Ellie got to hold her and I got to change her nappy – when I took my hand away from changing her nappy, she grabbed it.

‘We were told she had a 20 per cent chance of survival, that she could need resuscitating, or be stillborn but when she came out she was breathing, she’s practically breathing on her own.’

Hannah (pictured), who weighed just 11oz (325g) at birth, is thought to be the smallest baby to survive in the UK in nearly two decades, after being given a 20 per cent chance of survival

Ms Paton and her partner Brandon Stibbles (btoh pictured), 21, were warned that ‘babies that small don’t survive’, but Hannah, whose due date was April 13, was born breathing on her own

At her 20-week scan, Ms Paton was told that the placenta was not feeding the baby properly, and then at her 22-week scan, she was warned that Hannah was the size of a 16-week foetus.

Ms Paton was monitored by doctors in the following weeks but no date for a C-section was arranged, as she was told one could be needed at any time. 

But Ms Paton woke up on December 29 with excruciating stomach and chest pains and was rushed to Crosshouse Hospital around 11am, where preeclampsia was diagnosed.

Preeclampsia is a condition which causes high blood pressure during pregnancy and after labour and can be fatal if not treated.

Speaking of the pregnancy, Ms Paton said: ‘It was just scary all the time.

‘I had gone in just for a scan and ended up with high blood pressure, they sent me the QEUH and I was there for two days while my blood pressure sorted itself out.

‘I went home and thought everything was OK, the next morning I woke up with excruciating pain in my chest and stomach and had to go in the next day.

‘They said I was going to be having a C-section but there was no plan, it could happen at any time.’

Ms Paton was rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where specialists delivered baby Hannah by emergency C-section at 25 weeks just after 1am on December 30.

The new parents had to spend New Year’s Eve apart while Mr Stibbles, who works as a labourer, stayed in a nearby Travelodge, where they are living for the foreseeable future.

Photographs show Hannah covered in bubble wrap to keep her warm, which is used as it is lighter than a blanket, but often kicks it off in her incubator

The new mother got to hold her daughter briefly once, while Mr Stibbles was able to change Hannah’s nappy, while she grabbed his finger in a white-knuckle fist

When Hannah tips the scales at 17.6oz (500g), she will be moved to Crosshouse Hospital, and although Hannah has gained almost 1oz (25g) since being born, the move could be two months away. 

Ms Paton’s younger sister, Abbie-Beth Miller, aged one, was born 28 weeks early last year.

Hannah’s gran and mother-of-three Stacey Miller, 36, has been a massive support to the young couple, Mr Stibbles said.

He added: ‘The high up doctors were coming into the neonatal unit and saying ‘babies this size just don’t survive’.

‘Not at 25 weeks into pregnancy – babies should be 500g or more, Hannah was 325g.

‘If anything she has excelled on the outside. We are hoping things stay the way she is, putting on weight and feeding well.

‘It’s not been easy but we’ve got a really strong support system, Ellie’s family have been an amazing support.

‘Ellie’s mum went through the exact same thing. We are both just really eager to be back in our own environment. I would never have done it any way differently either.’

Mr Stibbles also praised the maternity staff at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, saying they have been ‘absolutely brilliant’. 

When Hannah tips the scales at 17.6oz (500g), she will be moved to Crosshouse Hospital, but that could be two months away

The new parents, who have been together nearly 18 months, described Hannah as ‘the best thing to ever happen to them’. Pictured: Nappy and foot print for Hannah

Speaking of Hannah, he added: ‘Everybody says she’s very sassy, she’s very active. Our whole life has just changed.’

MailOnline has contacted NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Board for comment. 

The UK’s smallest baby girl to survive before Hannah was Aaliyah Hart, who was born in 2003 weighing 12oz (340g).

In 2019, baby Isabella Evans came close to beating Aaliyah’s record, having been born weighing 12.2oz (346g), after only being given a five per cent chance of survival.

After being born weighing the same as a can of Coke, Isabella was discharged from hospital six months after her birth weighing 13lb 7oz.

The world’s lightest baby was born at 7.48oz (212g) in Singapore at the National University Hospital, Singapore, on June 9, 2020, according to Guinness World Records.

Kwek Yu Xuan was delivered by emergency C-section four months early, at just 24 weeks and six days. She was only 24cm (9.5inches) long and weighed about the same as an apple.

She was discharged from hospital in August 2021 after 13 months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, at a healthier weight of 14lb (6.3kg). 

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