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Baby born 101 days early kept alive by being wrapped in plastic bag

A mother has revealed her son, who was born extremely prematurely, was wrapped in a plastic bag to save his life by regulating his temperature properly.

Isabella Gailbraith, 33, a GP receptionist, gave birth to baby Pace at just 25 weeks gestation. Baby Pace weighed just 1lb 4oz and could fit in the palm of his mother’s hand. The tiny baby did not have enough fat on his body when he was born and had to be wrapped in a plastic drawstring bag to keep him warm.

Ms Gailbraith’s first child was born 10 weeks early so she knew it could happen again. Her water broke on 7 March and she was taken to Southmead Hospital in Bristol where she had an emergency caesarean section four days later. Baby Pace was born 101 days before his due date.

Pace was born 101 days early

She said: “When I went in, I was already 2cm dilated, so he was just desperate to come out”.

“He was actually trying to be born at 24 weeks but we had some drugs to try and delay it. When he was at 25 weeks, he decided he had enough”.

“When he was born the doctors worked on him to get him breathing for five minutes”, she said.

“They then they popped him in a neonatal bag, which is basically a drawstring bag type thing that is used to keep him warm because Pace couldn’t regulate his temperature”.

“If he was born at home, even putting him in a plastic bag would have helped”.

Doctors use plastic bags or wrapping in the first 10 minutes after a baby is born preterm to help them avoid hypothermia, as they are highly susceptible to losing body heat. 

As he grew in size and strength, his parents were able to cuddle him for the first time. “The first time we had a cuddle was when he was a week old”, his mother said.

Baby Pace was able to be sent home from hospital and meet his siblings for the first time last month.

Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson said: “Baby Pace was born just after the abortion limit in the UK, and despite his tiny size, his parents knew his life mattered. This lovely story is another sign of hope for parents who are struggling in a similar situation”.

Dear reader,

You may be surprised to learn that our 24-week abortion time limit is out of line with the majority of European Union countries, where the most common time limit for abortion on demand or on broad social grounds is 12 weeks gestation.

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from 22 weeks. The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.

This leaves a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive at 23 weeks whilst, in another room of that same hospital, a doctor could perform an abortion that would end the life of a baby at the same age.

The majority of the British population support reducing the time limit. Polling has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below.

Please click the button below to sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to do everything in his power to reduce the abortion time limit.