Woman Gives Birth to Nine Babies After Being Told to Expect Seven

A woman from the west African nation of Mali has given birth to nine babies—nonuplets.

Halima Cisse, 25, delivered the five girls and four boys on Tuesday at a hospital in Morocco, according to Malian officials.

The Malian government said it had flown the woman to the north African state on March 30 so she could receive better care. Cisse was accompanied on the journey by a doctor, it added.

The babies were delivered by caesarean section and are all reportedly in good health.

"The mother and babies are doing well so far," Mali's health minister Fanta Siby told AFP, adding that she had been in contact with the doctor who had accompanied Cisse to Morocco.

Siby said the woman and her nine babies were expected to return to Mali in several weeks.

Ultrasound scans conducted in both Mali and Morocco had indicated that Cisse was carrying seven babies, with two of the children being missed entirely, Reuters reported.

Even when Cisse was believed to be expecting seven babies rather than nine, doctors were reportedly concerned about her health and the children's chances of survival.

Cases of women giving birth to septuplets are extremely rare—and nonuplets are even rarer.

Siby told AFP that she offered her congratulations to "the medical teams of Mali and Morocco, whose professionalism is at the origin of the happy outcome of this pregnancy."

Despite the confirmation of the birth from Malian officials, a spokesperson from the Moroccan health ministry, Rachid Koudhari, told AFP on Tuesday that he was not aware of the case.

The Malian nonuplets are not the only unusually large birth that has been reported in 2021.

Earlier this year, the BBC reported that a 49-year-old Nigerian woman had given birth to sextuplets—four girls and two boys—on February 9.

Deaconess Doris Levi Wilson, from Bayelsa state in the south of the west African nation, named her children Miracle, Mercy, Merit, Marvis, Marvellous and Mirabel, according to local journalist Kos-Ikah Onisoman.

The sextuplets were born six years after Wilson had delivered twins. She had tried to have children unsuccessfully for more than two decades before this.

Figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that out of 3,791,712 recorded births in the United States in 2018, there were only 10 that involved quintuplets or other higher-order multiple births.

In that year, there were 115 quadruplet births, 3,400 triplet births and 123,536 twin births, according to CDC figures.

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A baby lying on bed
Stock image showing a young child. A Malian woman gave birth to nine babies in Morocco on Tuesday, government officials reported. iStock