It appeared close to a medical miracle: a woman from Mali made world headlines after giving birth to nonuplets — or nine babies from a single pre_gnancy but experts have pointed out some few health risks posed from premature births.
The phenomenon is exceptionally rare. It has only been recorded on a handful of occasions, including once in Australia. In that case, all the babies died within days.
So far, reports from the Malian government are that the four boys, five girls and their mother, Halima Cisse, are “doing well”, but there are serious healthcare risks potentially in play.
Ms Cisse was moved to Morocco at the request of the Malian government so she could receive higher quality care.
But she was only expecting to have seven babies.
The babies’ birth weights varied between 500 grams and 1 kilogram, and they were delivered at 30 weeks by caesarian section.
Professor Ellwood said their low weight and premature birth could pose challenges outside the womb.
“It would be fair to say that the human uterus is designed ideally to have one baby, copes reasonably well with two, but beyond that, the complications of pregnancy really start to get quite significant,” he said.
“With any number of babies above one, you start to see an increase in the rate of early birth.
“The second quite common complication is growth restriction for one of the babies, and certainly, once you get up to beyond three babies, it’s quite common for one or two of them to be small.
“The ones that are down at the 500-gram range, there’s a lot of complication.”
Professor Youssef Alaoui, medical director of the Ain Borja clinic in Casablanca, where the family is being treated, told the AFP news agency the children would be in incubators for “two to three months”.
He said all of them were “doing well”.
Professor Chapman said there was about a 90 per cent chance of survival for full-weight children born at 30 weeks.
“I suspect these are all small babies in their gestation anyway,” he said.
“I think it will be a fight to keep them all alive, but we’ll wait and see.”-ABC