Rare Sextuplets Born in Iraq, Only Four Survive

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An Iraqi woman gave birth to sextuplets, but only four survived because the hospital lacked the proper health care equipment, Reuters reported Saturday.

Iraqi media has described it as the first birth of sextuplets in the country, but this has not been officially verified.

The chances of spontaneously conceiving sextuplets is one in 4.7 billion, although the odds improve significantly with fertility treatment. The mother, Ibtisam Najim Abid, said she used fertility drugs.

“Two of the children died because of problems breathing,” said Dr. Ali al-Jabiri, who is in charge of premature infants at Al-Habboubi Hospital in the southern city of Nassiriya. “If we had suitable medical equipment, then we could have saved them.”

The babies all weighed between 24 and 44 ounces. Two boys and two girls survived.

Abid said she wondered how she would care for the four babies.

“How to feed them?” she asked.

Click here to read the full Reuters story.