Woman returns home to Mali after birthing 9 babies

PHOTO: The world's first nonuplets - nine babies - returned home Tuesday. (via Saloum Arby)

Last year a woman from Mali gave birth to a baby in a hospital in Morocco. And then another. And another. And another and another and another and another and another and another. In total, the woman became the proud mother of a record-setting nine children – the world’s first nonuplets.

Yesterday, the woman and her new brood of babies finally returned home to Mali over a year after giving birth in May of 2021. She has four baby boys – Mohammed VI, Oumar, Elhadji and Bah – and five baby girls – Kadidia, Fatouma, Hawa, Adama and Oumou. The woman, Halima Cisse, hails from Timbuktu, in the north of the country. Lacking proper medical facilities to safely deliver the unusual pregnancy, the government of Mali flew her to the Ain Borja clinic in Casablanca.

Once in Moroccan medical care, staff worked hard to prevent a severely premature labour that would put the lives of all the babies at risk. She arrived 25 weeks pregnant and the doctors struggled to extend her pregnancy to 30 weeks. A baby is considered premature if it is born before 37 weeks, with a normal pregnancy lasting about 40 weeks.

A team of 10 doctors and 25 paramedics gathered on the day the nonuplets were delivered. The babies were born via Caesarean section. Each one weighed a tiny 500 to 1000 grammes: the average normal birth is between 2.5 and 4 kilogrammes.

The family then flew from Casablanca to Mali’s capital city of Bamako where they were given a hero’s welcome, according to Bangkok Post. The Minister of Health for Mali greeted the parents and nine kids on their arrival, sharing photos on Facebook. She thanked the medical team in Morocco and said the state honoured its commitment to support the new family.

“Joy and satisfaction to see them in good health. The mother and babies are doing well and have arrived safe and sound in Mali. This is a first. It’s a source of pride for us.”

The nonuplets are one baby more than the record set in 2009 when 33 year old Nadya Suleman was nicknamed Octomom after giving birth to eight babies at once in the US.

World News

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.