Gosiame Thamara Sithole, 37, who is already a mother of twins, gave birth to seven boys and three girls by Caesarean section at a hospital in Pretoria late Monday, her husband said.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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