BAMAKO, Mali (AP):
Twenty-five-year-old Halima Cisse, gave birth to nine babies by cesarean section on Tuesday in Morocco after being sent there for special care, Mali’s Minister of Health announced.
It appeared to be the first time on record that a woman had given birth to nine surviving babies at once.
The five girls and four boys and their mother “are all doing well,” Mali’s top health official said in a statement.
Associated Press reporters saw some of the babies wiggling their hands and feet inside incubators Wednesday in the private Ain Borja clinic in Casablanca. Medical staff checked their status regularly in the neonatal ward wallpapered with cartoon characters.
Cisse had been expecting seven babies. Malian doctors, under government orders, sent her to Morocco for the births because hospitals in Mali, one of the world’s poorest countries, are ill-equipped to provide adequate care for this exceptional multiple pregnancy.
NOT EXPECTING NONUPLETS
The Casablanca clinic’s director Youssef Alaoui told Moroccan state TV that they had been contacted by Malian doctors about the case a month and a half ago. They were not expecting nonuplets, he said.
Cisse gave birth prematurely at 30 weeks and is now in stable condition after heavy bleeding, for which she was given a blood transfusion, he said.
The cesarean was ordered after Cisse had “birth pains,” Alaoui, the clinic director, said. The babies weigh between 500 grams and one kilogram (1.1 and 2.2 pounds).
The Guinness Book of World Records said in an email to The AP on Wednesday that its current record for most live births at once is eight, and that it is verifying the Morocco birth.
The current holder of the Guinness record is American Nadya Suleman, who gave birth to eight premature but otherwise healthy children in 2009.
Alaoui, the clinic director, told The AP that, as far as he was aware, Cisse had not used fertility treatments. The Malian health ministry did not provide any other information about the pregnancy or births.