A pregnant Indian housewife who was taken to the hospital in the state of Chhattisgarh in eastern India on Saturday morning had hoped to give birth safely to only one premature baby. But she was shocked when she gave birth to five girls through natural delivery in just about 30 minutes.
According to doctors in the state of Chhattisgarh, 25-year-old Manita Singh’s childbirth was the first time that a woman has given birth to quintuplets by natural or normal delivery in that part of the country. What made the birth even more remarkable was the fact that the babies were born after only about 26 weeks of pregnancy.
According to The Times of India, the quintuplet girls were the most premature quintuplets ever born in India.
Manita was taken to the district government hospital in Ambikapur in the eastern state of Chhattisgarh after she started complaining of labor pains. Because she had lost her first baby in 2014 after three months of birth, Manita and her husband were anxious about the prospects of giving birth safely to a premature baby.
The couple had never suspected that Manita was pregnant with more than one child because she never had an ultrasound done during pregnancy.
She gave birth to her first baby girl at about 10 a.m. on Saturday. The first baby was followed in swift succession by four more girls. The quintuplets were all born within half an hour of each other, with the heaviest sister weighing about 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs).
The Times of India reports that the babies were so tiny that doctors could fit all five into a single tray. But doctors said that despite being very small, all their body parts were well developed, including the lungs, brain, and eyes. The sister with the lowest birth weight was only about 1 kg while the heaviest was 1.5 kg.
The new mother was too exhausted to comment soon after delivering quintuplets, but the father of the babies was overjoyed. He recalled the heartbreak of loss of their first baby two years earlier and told reporters he was convinced that “God has compensated the loss.”
“I am extremely grateful to God for blessing us with not one but five children,” Mahesh, the father of quintuplets, said. “We were heartbroken when we lost our first child, a son, immediately after birth two years ago. I believe God has compensated the loss.”
“I only hope that they all survive and I can give them a wonderful life,” the elated father added.
Doctors said they were monitoring the health of the girls very closely. The girls were being kept at the hospital’s Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) due to their low-birth weight, according to The Times of India.
Doctors were working to keep them from infections as a way of improving their survival chances. To enhance their chances of survival the girls were being kept in conditions that simulate the womb with minimum noise, light, and other environment stimulation, according to The Times of India.
Dr. Tekam, who led the team of doctors, told reporters, “This is the first case in my career where I have delivered five babies through normal birth.”
“We are very happy for the parents but the babies are under supervision as they all are premature,” he continued. “While they are healthy, we cannot say if they will survive. However, we are doing every bit to save them.”
Dr Pandey, who heads the Ambikapur district hospital, added, “Our gynecologists’ observation says that the babies are premature and took birth in between six to seven months of pregnancy. They all have very low birth weight (LBW) and the survival of such LBW children in the best of hospitals is abysmally low.”
He confirmed that Manita’s girls were not the first quintuplets in India but they were the first to be born through natural delivery in that area of the state of Chhattisgarh.
Quintuplet births are very rare indeed, occurring only in 1 in about 50,000,000 births. Quintuplets surviving infancy are even rarer. The first quintuplets on record to have survived are the Dionne sisters who were born in Canada in 1934.
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