It has been reported via social media, and a few suspect websites that an Indian woman set the enviable record for the most babies born to one mother at once. It was reported that she had delivered eleven babies, all at once, in a single pregnancy. Now that’s quite a massive number, and probably more suited to a household pet than a woman, but did it really happen?
Multiple births are a fascinating thing. The birth of twins is relatively common, but beyond that it becomes an even more unlikely event. The particular circumstances of the Indian woman seem far fetched. The supposed birth resulted in all 11 babies being healthy and surviving. This is extremely improbable, especially in a country such as India that lacks some of the modern day hospital facilities that the West is accustomed to. What makes this scenario even more improbable is that there have only been two reported cases of nonuplets, or nine babies, and they hold the record for most babies born to one mother at once.
The first case of nonuplets was in Sydney, Australia in 1971. None of the babies survived past six weeks, and that was in a modern (1970’s) first world country, with what would have been considered modern techniques and technology. The second recorded case of nonuplets occurred in 1999 in Malaysia, which is a fairly recent event. In that case none of the babies survived beyond six hours. So that begs the question, what is the number of most babies born to one mother at once to survive?
The most babies born to one mother at once that all survived is very recent event, and it made world headlines. The birth even spurned a porn shoot and reality tv show. Nadya Suleman, more famously known as octomom, became the mother of the first set of octuplets to survive their infancy when she gave birth in 2009.
Back to our original quest to vanquish the myth of eleven babies born in a single birth. The reports were actually taken out of context after a photograph surfaced of an unusual birthing event. There was a photo of eleven babies born in an Indian hospital on the 11/11/11. Furthermore, each of the parents had undergone In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) . Somehow, even though that’s a remarkable coincidence in itself, the story underwent what can be best described as Chinese whispers, and morphed into a story of one mother delivering eleven babies.