Woman Reportedly Gives Birth to 10 Babies, The First Dectuplets in History

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jun 10, 2021   |   4:13PM   |   Cape Town, South Africa

A South African woman is making international headlines after she reportedly gave birth to 10 babies earlier this week, a world record.

The Mirror reports Gosiame Thamara Sithole, 37, delivered the decuplets by cesarean section June 7 at a hospital in Pretoria, Gauteng, her husband Teboho Tsotetsi told reporters.

Authorities in the province are still trying to confirm the report as is the fact checker Snopes.

Sithole’s husband told reporters that his wife had a difficult pregnancy, and she was concerned that some of their unborn babies would not survive. Initially, he said the doctors told them that she was carrying eight babies.

Sometimes doctors recommend a “selective” abortion when mothers are carrying multiples, meaning they kill one or more of the unborn babies supposedly for the purpose of protecting the other unborn babies and mother. It is not clear if doctors suggested this for Sithole.

Tsotetsi said they feel blessed to have so many children. News reports indicate the couple also has two older twin daughters.

“There’s not many words I have to express how I feel, but in reality I am still shocked, excited and I feel blessed and I feel overwhelmed by the support that I am getting,” Tsotetsi said.

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Sithole and Tsotetsi said they conceived the babies naturally.

“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. Let’s talk again in the morning please,” Tsotetsi told Pretoria News soon after his wife gave birth.

News of the babies’ birth quickly garnered attention across the world including in prominent news outlets like the BBC, Newsweek and the New York Post. Pretoria News, a newspaper in Pretoria, South Africa, broke the story.

However, the government of the province of Gauteng released a statement June 9 indicating that it could not confirm the birth of the decuplets.

“Following reports from the Independent Media Group about a Gauteng woman having given birth to decuplets on Monday, 7 June 2021, the Gauteng Provincial Government conducted a thorough check with all hospitals in the province to establish the veracity or otherwise of the report,” the statement read. “None of the hospitals in the province, public and private, have any records of such a delivery in their facilities.”

However, the Mirror reported that a spokesperson for the Gauteng Department of Social Development later said they did confirm that Sithole is in a hospital in the province but they could not yet verify how many babies she gave birth to.