Page last updated at 08:18 GMT, Friday, 21 May 2010 09:18 UK

Oxfordshire woman gives birth to sextuplets

A baby
The babies were born more than three months early

A 31-year-old woman has given birth to sextuplets at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxfordshire.

The four girls and two boys, ranging in weight from 1lb 5oz (0.6kg) to 1lb 15oz (0.9kg), were born to Andy and Vicky Lamb on 14 May - 14 weeks early.

Mrs Lamb, 31, from Oxford, is said to be recovering well. All of the babies are in the hospital's specialist Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Doctors said the next few days would be "critical" for the babies.

The hospital said live births of such a high number of babies was rare with sextuplets born once in every 4.5 million pregnancies.

Specialist nursing

According to the Multiple Births Foundation charity, the last surviving set of sextuplets in England, Scotland or Wales were born in 1993.

Last year, a woman gave birth to six babies at the Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital in Belfast.

The John Radcliffe Hospital said: "Staff... feel privileged to play their part in such an unusual birth.

"A large team of doctors and nurses were present at the delivery or involved with the immediate management of the babies.

"There were several weeks of planning the delivery prior to the birth."

Dr Kenny McCormick, consultant neonatologist, said: "Babies that are born this early need a lot of specialist care.

"They are receiving round the clock intensive care and specialist nursing at the moment and their condition is constantly monitored."

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