Tuesday, 8th June 2021: A 37-year old South African woman claims to have given birth to ten children in what would be the world’s largest-ever live birth if confirmed by doctors, the Daily Mail of UK reported on Tuesday.
Gosiame Thamara Sithole, 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.
Tebogo Tsotetsi – who is currently unemployed – told journalists of the birth of the decuplets late on Monday night, saying he is ‘happy’ and ’emotional’.
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.
The online newspaper has been unable to independently verify the birth, because the name of the hospital where it took place has not been made public.
A fertility doctor who had previously commented on the case has been contacted for verification, but had not responded at the time of publication.
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.”
In an interview with the same newspaper before the birth, Sithole – who is a store manager – said doctors initially told her that she was pregnant with six children.
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.