A teacher is pregnant with a record-breaking 12 babies, it has been claimed.The unnamed Tunisian woman, who is in her 30s, is reportedly expecting six boys and six girls. She is said to have turned to fertility treatment after suffering two miscarriages in two years.
But British fertility experts said that although it was possible to conceive 12 babies, such a pregnancy was fraught with risk. There was less than a one in 100 chance of even a single baby surviving, said one. But the woman claims to be in good health. ‘All I want to do is be able to hug my babies and show them all my love,’ she told hospital workers in the town of Gafsa, about 250 miles south of the capital Tunis.
‘This is an absolute miracle, and we all feel blessed after struggling so hard to have children.’ Her husband, named only as Marwan, who teaches at the same school in Tunisia, told the Assabah newspaper: ‘In the beginning, we thought that my wife would give birth to twins, but more foetuses were discovered. ‘Our joy was increased with the growing number. The medical team told us that my wife would give birth naturally.’
But British experts said that a natural birth would be impossible and warned that the strain of carrying 12 babies could lead to labour at 20 weeks – just halfway through pregnancy. It is unclear what stage the pregnancy is at, but ultrasound scans can work out a baby’s sex only after about 16 weeks, so it is likely she is already nearing the critical stage.
Peter Bowen-Simpkins, a fellow of Britain’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: ‘It is certainly possible to carry 12 babies but not for long. ‘The problem is the capacity of the uterus. This woman is going to be enormous by 20 weeks. And when the uterus goes into labour there is nothing you can do about it.'