PRETORIA, 9 June 2021 – A South African has given birth to decuplets (ten babies), establishing a new world record of the highest number of children in a single birth.
Pretoria News confirmed the births on Wednesday, citing the husband of the woman, 37-year-old Gosianne Thamara Sithole.
Ms. Sithole is reportedly in good health after delivering by caesarean section 29 weeks into her pregnancy in Pretoria on Monday evening.
“I am happy. I am emotional. I can’t talk much,” Pretoria News cited the happy father of the decuplets as saying.
Mr. Sithole said he was over the moon, and felt like “one of God’s chosen children. It’s a miracle which I appreciate”.
The ten newborns are seven boys and three girls, according to Pretoria News.
Officials at the London-based Guinness World Records told the BBC on Wednesday that they are investigating the births which have been confirmed by one South African doctor while others are saying they are waiting to see the babies before believing.
The deputy head of the school of medicine at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Professor Diini Mawela, said Sithole’s babies will spend the next few months in the incubator.
“It’s a highly complex and high-risk situation,” she said of the pregnancy and birth.
Ms Sithole previously gave birth to twins who are now six years old.
Last month, a Malian woman, Halima Cisse, gave birth to nine babies who are said to be doing well at the clinic where they were born in Morocco.
Both the Malian and South African couples involved with these multiple births say conception was natural, not as a result of fertility treatments, which is how most multiple births come about.
Two sets of nonuplets (nine babies) born prior to Ms. Cisse’s delivery last month only survived a few days.
The Malian mother of nonuplets held the record of the most babies in a single birth until Ms Sithole gave birth to her decuplets.
Before the Malian mother, the record belonged to an American, Nadya Suleman, who gave birth to eight children in 2009, wither octuplets conceived through in vitro fertilization.
South African officials had not yet confirmed the births and officials from the South African city where the couple lives were seeking them out on Twitter, offering to provide assistance.
When it was thought Ms. Sithole was carrying eight foetuses, she was suffering leg pains and doctors found that two of the eight “were in the wrong tube”, Pretoria News reported Wednesday.
“That was sorted and I have been okay since then. I can’t wait for my children,” Ms. Sithole told the newspaper at the time.