Dr. Paul Wendel, head of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of Arkansas' hospital in Fayetteville, said the reality TV star gave birth to Josie Brooklyn Thursday because of a pregnancy complication known as pre-eclampsia, People.com reported Friday.
Pre-eclampsia causes high blood pressure and typically impacts between 5 to 8 percent of pregnancies, Wendel said.
The hospital official said Duggar, who already had 18 kids with husband Jim Bob, arrived at the university hospital complaining of pain involving a gall bladder problem.
"The obstetrical and neonatal teams reached the collaborative decision (Thursday) that Mrs. Duggar needed an emergency C-section to ensure the blood pressure problem would not be detrimental to her or the baby," Wendel said of the decision to birth the baby nearly three months early.
Wendel told People magazine both Duggar and her new daughter, who weighs 1 pound, 6 ounces, were doing well.