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US woman gives birth to octuplets

Medical team describe a 'successful' delivery

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.

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

MULTIPLE BIRTHS
US first live-born octuplets delivered in Texas, 1998; seven survive
Octuplets born in Italy, 2000; two die shortly after delivery
Octuplets born in Mexico City, 1967, but all died within 14 hours, according to Encyclopedia Britannica
World's first surviving set of septuplets born in Iowa, US, 1997
First all-female surviving sextuplets born in the UK, 1983, to the Walton family

She checked in to the hospital 23 weeks into her pregnancy and gave birth seven weeks later.

A spokeswoman at the Bellflower medical centre 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.

"She is a very strong woman, so she probably will be able to handle all eight babies," said Dr Mandhir Gupta.

He added that the mother was "doing very, very well" and was "really excited that she got all of these babies, and that they're doing good so far".

The team did not give any more details about the mother's identity or say whether she had used fertility drugs.

'Just enjoy it'

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

The seven surviving children of the octuplets born to Nkem Chukwu are pictured with another unidentified child and their mother as they celebrate their 10th birthday in Houston, Texas, 20 December 2008
Octuplets mother Chukwu said the new parents had much to look forward to
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 news agency reported.

"Just enjoy it. It's a blessing, truly a blessing," Mrs Chukwu was quoted as saying. "We'll keep praying for them."

Mrs Chukwu and her husband had tried for a long time to have children before turning to fertility drugs.

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SEE ALSO
Octuplets mother heads home
30 Dec 98 |  Health
Gifts pour in for octuplets
26 Dec 98 |  Health

FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
CNN Extreme multiple births carry big risks - 1 hr ago
People PHOTO: Meet the Delivery Team for the Octuplets - 2 hrs ago
Boston Globe Octuplets stun doctors at California hospital - 5 hrs ago
Buffalo News A to H for now, octuplets doing amazingly well - 6 hrs ago
Washington Post 8 is plenty: Mother gives birth to octuplets - 8 hrs ago



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