A South African woman claims to have given birth to ten children in what would be the world’s largest-ever live birth if confirmed by doctors, the Daily Mail of UK reported on Tuesday.
Tebogo Tsotetsi – who is currently unemployed – told journalists of the birth of the decuplets late on Monday night, saying he is ‘happy’ and ’emotional’.
Sithole had previously claimed the pregnancy was ‘natural’, but such extreme births are almost always the result of fertility treatments – with multiple fertilized embryos inserted into the womb to increase the chances the patient will fall pregnant.
It comes just a month after a Malian woman – Halima Cisse – gave birth to nine children at a hospital in Morocco, in another case thought to have been caused by fertility treatment.
MailOnline has been unable to independently verify the birth, because the name of the hospital where it took place has not been made public.
A fertility doctor who had previously commented on the case has been contacted for verification, but had not responded at the time of publication.
Tsotetsi was the first to reveal the birth to local outlet Pretoria News, with the news subsequently picked up by other major international outlets.
Speaking to the paper late last night, Tsotetsi said: “It’s seven boys and three girls. She was seven months and seven days pregnant. I am happy. I am emotional. I can’t talk much.”
In an interview with the same newspaper before the birth, Sithole – who is a store manager – said doctors initially told her that she was pregnant with six children.
But that was increased to eight following a later scan. It was only while undergoing surgery that the other two babies were discovered.
Sithole said she suffered through the complicated pregnancy, experiencing morning sickness early on followed later by pain in her leg.
Meanwhile Tsotetsi revealed that he initially could not believe his wife with pregnant with six children, thinking it was medically impossible.
“But after I found out that these things do happen, and saw my wife’s medical records, I got excited. I can’t wait to have them in my arms,” he said at the time.
The condition of the children following the birth was not made clear by Pretoria News, which was the first to report the case.
Children of such extreme multiple pregnancies are almost always born under-weight and can often be malnourished as the mother’s body struggles to provide nutrients for so many infants.
Cases of infant mortality are also not uncommon following large multiple births. (Text, excluding headline, courtesy Daily Mail)