Imagine how frightening it must be for a woman to go into labour when she is just over halfway through her pregnancy and her baby has only had 23 or 24 weeks to grow. She and her family are overcome with fear, uncertainty and helplessness.
But when well-meaning relatives recount articles they've read in women’s magazines about "miracle babies", the family can become buoyed with unrealistic hope about what neonatal medicine can offer.
While the survival of these tiny, desperately fragile human beings can legitimately be described as “miraculous”, the reality that glossy magazines don't mention is that a very high percentage will go home with lifelong physical and intellectual deficiencies which they and their family will endure with limited community support services. So one person’s miracle might be another person’s tragedy.