California woman gives birth to octuplets

January 27th, 2009 - 11:46 am ICT by IANS  

Los Angeles, Jan 27 (DPA) A woman in southern California gave birth to eight babies, news reports said.The six boys and two girls were delivered within five minutes by caesarean section, the Los Angeles Times reported, making the mother the second person so far known to have given birth to living octuplets.

“All babies are well, as is the mother,” said Harold Henry of the Kaiser Permanente hospital in suburban Bellflower near Los Angeles.

“The orchestrated delivery went off without a hitch… There were no complications from the surgery to the best of my knowledge,” he added.

The babies weighed in at between 880 grams and 1.47 kilograms. Three of the octuplets, who were nine weeks premature, needed help breathing. All eight will spend about two months in an incubator, the hospital said, but the mother, who plans to breast-feed all her children, will be able to leave hospital in one week.

The team of 46 doctors and helpers had expected “only” seven babies, Karen Maples was quoted as saying. “My eyes got the size of saucers,” when she realised there were eight babies, she said.

No further information was released about the parents.

A Nigerian-born woman in Texas gave birth to octuplets in 1998, seven of whom survived. One of the babies was born Dec 8, 1998, the others twelve days later.

All of them were extremely premature and weighed only between 300 grams and 800 grams. The smallest baby died after one week.

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