Tuesday, January 27, 2009

US woman gives birth to octuplets

A US woman has given birth to eight babies, becoming just the second person recorded in the US to have delivered a set of living octuplets, BBC reports.

The six boys and two girls, who were nine weeks premature, were delivered by Caesarean section in the hospital in Los Angeles, California.

The babies weighed in at between 1lb 8 ounces (820g) and 3lb 4oz (1.47kg) and are all said to be doing well.

They were screaming and kicking around very vigorously, a doctor said.

The mother, whose identity has not been revealed, has asked that limited information be released about the births.

A hospital spokeswoman described the deliveries, which took place in the space of five minutes, as "truly amazing".

The medical team had scheduled a Caesarean section for seven babies, but doctors were surprised when an eighth came out.

"Lo and behold, after we got to Baby G, which is what we expected, we were surprised by Baby H," said Dr Karen Maples.

Three of the babies needed help breathing, but all were otherwise doing well, a doctor said.

The babies will be in incubators for at least six weeks and the mother is planning to breast feed them all, the hospital officials said.

'Just enjoy it'

The world's first live-born set of octuplets were delivered in Houston, Texas, in 1998.  

One baby died about a week later - but the surviving children celebrated their 10th birthday in December.

Their Nigerian-born mother, Nkem Chukwu, said the new parents had much to look forward to, the Associated Press agency reported.

"Just enjoy it. It's a blessing, truly a blessing," Mrs Chukwu was quoted as saying.

"We'll keep praying for them."


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