It’s nonuplets: Mother gives birth to nine babies

Ultrasound scans had detected only seven babies in the woman’s crowded womb

A Malian woman gave birth to nine babies on Tuesday – two more than doctors had detected inside her crowded womb – joining a small pantheon of mothers of nonuplets.

The pregnancy of 25-year-old Halima Cisse has fascinated the west African nation and attracted the attention of its leaders. When doctors in March said Cisse needed specialist care, authorities flew her to Morocco, where she gave birth.

Cisse was expected to give birth to seven babies, according to ultrasounds conducted in Morocco and Mali that missed two of the siblings. Nonuplets are extremely rare. Medical complications in multiple births of this kind often mean that some of the babies do not reach full term.

“I’m happy – very, very happy,” her husband, Kader Arby, told the BBC. “My wife and the babies” – five girls and four boys, all born by Caesarean section – “are doing very well.”


Arby, who has been in constant contact with his wife from Mali, where he stayed with the couple’s older daughter, says he is not worried about the family’s future. “God gave us these children. He is the one to decide what will happen to them. I’m not worried about that. When the Almighty does something, he knows why,” he told BBC Afrique.

Morocco's health-ministry spokesman Rachid Koudhari had earlier said that he was not aware of such a multiple birth having taken place at one of the country's hospitals. But the private Ain Borja clinic in Casablanca confirmed that Cisse had given birth there. – Reuters, PA, with additional reporting