Update: Woman Pregnant With 12 Babies

Filed under: In The News, Twins, Triplets, Multiples

pregnant belly

Is 12 babies a miracle pregnancy, or a disaster waiting to happen? Credit: dizznbonn, Flickr

AUGUST 19, 2009, UPDATE: UK's Daily Telegraph reported that the story below is fraudulent. The woman exists, but she is not pregnant with 12 babies. The Tunisian Health Ministry said the woman has "psychological problems and is unlikely even to be pregnant," according to the Telegraph.

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A Tunisian woman is said to be pregnant with 12 babies - six boys and six girls.

The teacher, who has not been named, said she is in good health, according to a report in the Daily Mail and picked up by ParentDish UK.

But experts say it's unlikely any of the babies will survive.

The woman reportedly told hospital workers: "All I want to do is be able to hug my babies and show them all my love. This is an absolute miracle, and we all feel blessed after struggling so hard to have children."

She apparently had fertility treatment after having two miscarriages in two years.

Her husband, named as Marwan, told the Assabah newspaper: "In the beginning, we thought that my wife would give birth to twins, but more fetuses were discovered. Our joy was increased with the growing number. The medical team told us that my wife would give birth naturally."

However, experts say a natural birth will probably be impossible and labor could start as early as 20 weeks - too early for the babies to survive.

It is not known how far along the woman is now in her pregnancy, but it is thought she must be at least 16 weeks if the gender of the babies is known.

"It is certainly possible to carry 12 babies but not for long," said Peter Bowen-Simpkins, a fellow of Britain's Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists."I don't like to dampen her enthusiasm but the chances are she will deliver at 20 weeks. I wouldn't even give her a one in 100 chance of even one surviving. It's frightening."

There have been other cases of multiple births surviving. In California earlier this year, Nadya Suleman -- a.k.a. Octomom -- gave birth to eight healthy babies.

But it's unusual for this many babies to survive. Back in 1996 a British woman, Mandy Allwood, was pregnant with eight babies. She ignored medical advice to abort some of them and they all died after being born at 22 weeks.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.