A Malian woman is making headlines across the globe after giving birth to nonuplets (nine babies) this week.
Doctors had expected Halima Cisse, 25, to give birth to seven babies (septuplets). Ultrasounds conducted in Morocco and Mali showed just seven babies, but after doctors began to deliver Cisse’s tiny bundles of joy by cesarean, they were surprised to discover two more.
Cisse gave birth in Morrocco after an order from Bah Ndaw. The young mother gave birth to five girls and four boys, according to Mali’s health ministry.
“The mother and babies are doing well so far,” Mali’s health minister, Fanta Siby, told Agence France-Presse. Dr. Siby also congratulated “the medical teams of Mali and Morocco, whose professionalism is at the origin of the happy outcome of this pregnancy.”
Nonuplets are extremely rare. Medical complications usually occur in multiple births of this kind which often prevent the mother from carrying to term.
Last year, an Iraqi woman caused a media storm after giving birth to septuplets at a hospital in the Diyali Province of the country.
The woman gave birth to six girls and one boy naturally. The mother and babies were all in good health.
“It was a natural birth and the 25-year-old mother was ‘perfectly healthy’ after delivering seven babies in a day,” said Firas Al Izzawi, a health department spokesperson.
The world’s first set of surviving septuplets were born in the US in 1997 to Kenny and Bobbi McCaughey from Iowa.
In 2008, Ghazala Khamis, 27, gave birth to septuplets early after taking fertility drugs to produce a son. March of that year, President Hosni Mubarak blamed overpopulation for the acute shortages of subsidized bread and insufficient housing. Despite the charge, the Egyptian minister of health confirmed that the seven babies would receive free milk and diapers for two years.