Expert’s opinion: A few facts about giving birth to quadruplets

A quadruplet pregnancy is always high-risk and requires careful planning Photo: Courtesy

Dr Kasonga Cheride, the surgeon from the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) who took care of the family, says, "The medical staff in the camp were very excited. In my whole life I have never come across quadruplets."

A quadruplet pregnancy is always high-risk and requires careful planning. Early delivery by elective caesarean is common practice to prevent an emergency situation - such as the mother going into labour far from medical help.

Some of the risks to the mother include;

• Hypertension

• Pre-eclampsia

• Gestational diabetes

• Subsequent fertility issues

The risks to the children are

• Low birth weight

• Breathing difficulties

• Premature birth

Taghri's pregnancy was allowed to continue for as long as possible but at 35 weeks - five weeks early, the babies were born.

"The atmosphere was one of joy for everybody," says Cheride. "It was the first time any of us had been faced with quads, so there was great curiosity... the best moment for me was when we got all four babies out safely and in a good state."

How rare are quadruplets?

• Rates of triplet and higher order births in Europe range from 0.1 to 1.5 per 1,000 women

• In Western countries multiple births have increased due to fertility treatment.

• Quadruplets are still very rare. One study found 12 quads out of 2.5 million births in low and middle-income countries.

• Some African countries have higher twinning rates. Benin has the highest incidence of twins in the world, and the Yoruba in Nigeria are also more likely to have twins.


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