Penn Badgley, Star of Netflix Show “You.” Reveals How He Was Born Two Months Prematurely

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 8, 2023   |   8:57PM   |   Washington, DC

Star of Netflix’s You and Gossip Girl, Penn Badgley, has revealed that he was born two months prematurely and had to be resuscitated numerous times by his mother when he was a baby.

The actor, 36, revealed in a podcast that he was born two months before his due date and suffered serious health problems as a result. He said “The first year of my life, well, for the first couple of weeks, I was in a NICU, because my heart and lungs would stop repeatedly throughout the day, so I was on my heart monitor.”

Badgley said that his mother had to learn “how to resuscitate me, like viscerally”, after he was taken home and there were no doctors present.

“[She had to do it] multiple times a day because my heart and lungs would stop. And I was on a monitor that would just beep very loudly.”

The very first time his mother had to resuscitate him was on the drive home from hospital.

“[The doctors] basically said, like, ‘This will happen immediately, so you’re going to have to [help him],’ and [it lasted] until about one.”

Badgley continued “I think by the time I was one it had gotten to the point where, like, my cousins will tell stories where … where I would be in the back seat, you know, in a car seat hooked up to the monitor, and it would go off, and all anybody had to do is just touch me. So just human touch would wake me up.”

He said that he thinks he is still extremely sensitive to touch because of his being born prematurely.

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“I just noticed that in my life, and I realized later that it’s probably pretty significant. And I’m sort of, I’m kind of like bird-boned, like I’m smaller than my father a bit”, he added.

Almost four out of five babies born prematurely between 22 and 28 weeks gestation survive to discharge from the hospital according to recent research.

Babies who are born prematurely often have serious health issues but outcomes are improving all the time. A study, ‘Mortality, In-Hospital Morbidity, Care Practices, and 2-Year Outcomes for Extremely Preterm Infants in the US, 2013-2018’, by Dr Edward F Bell of the University of Iowa, found that from 2013 to 2018, with infants born between 22 and 28 weeks gestation, “survival to discharge occurred in 78.3% and was significantly improved compared with a historical rate of 76.0% among infants born in 2008-2012”.

The study, which took place between 2013 and 2018, assessed 10,877 infants born between 22 and 28 weeks gestation in 19 academic medical centres across the US.

This means that almost four out of five extremely premature babies survived and were able to be assessed at 22-26 months corrected age (22-26 months from their due date) for a number of health and functional outcomes.

Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said “The outcomes for premature babies are improving all the time. Their lives continue to matter inside and outside of the womb.”