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Challenges Ahead For New Duggar Baby

Dec. 11 2009, Published 9:20 a.m. ET

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When Michelle Duggar gave birth to her 19th child on Thursday it was a time of great joy for the star of the TLC series 18 Kids and Counting, but with the baby arriving at only 1 pound, 6 ounces, the challenges ahead could be daunting.

Baby Josie was delivered three months early via emergency Caesarean section, and because of her size faces "challenges that could include cerebral palsy, deafness, blindness and chronic respiratory problems," Dr. Manny Alvarez, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at Hackensack University Medical Center told

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Duggar Baby Arrives Early

Michelle Duggar was initially admitted to her hospital in Arkansas to evaluate pain related to gallbladder disease. "Her workup revealed signs and symptoms consistent with a condition known as preeclampsia,"explained Dr. Paul Wendel of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Preeclampsia occurs in 5 to 8% of all pregnancies and is characterized by high blood pressure. The decision was made "that Mrs. Duggar needed an emergency c-section to ensure the blood pressure problem would not be detrimental to her or the baby," Dr. Wendel explained.

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The Duggars have become the most high-profile family on TLC since the demise of Jon & Kate Plus 8.

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