The woman who gave birth to nine babies in May has revealed that the current care regime for her nonuplets – who remain in incubators in an intensive care unit – includes going through 100 nappies a day and six litres of milk.
Halima Cisse, who broke the previous world record for most births at a single time, gave birth to nonuplets by caesarian section at the Ain Borja clinic in Casablanca, Morocco, on 5 May.
The 26-year-old Malian woman told the Mail Online that the births were like “an endless stream of babies coming out of me”.
She said that she only learned that she would have nonuplets moments before the birth.
“It was a total shock when I found out that I was having nine babies because I thought it was going to be seven.
“As the babies were coming out, there were so many questions going through my mind. I was very aware of what was going on and it seemed as if there was an endless stream of babies coming out of me.
“My sister was holding my hand but all I could think about was how would I look after them and who was going to help me?”
Almost three months after their birth, the babies remain in incubators in the ICU receiving care from a team of doctors and nurses.
Ms Cisse told the Mail Online that the nonuplets are fed and changed every two hours, going through a combined six litres of milk and 100 nappies per day. They also undergo health checks every three hours.
She said that due to her need to recover from the pregnancy and delivery – she nearly died due to blood loss – she only visits the babies twice a day for up to 30 minutes to bond with them, as she does not yet have the energy to undertake their care regime.
“It’s a lot of work and I still feel very weak,” Ms Cisse said. “My pregnancy was very difficult and I need a lot of rest.”
“Giving birth to one child is hard enough but having nine is unimaginable. It’s astonishing the amount of work that is involved in looking after them. I’m grateful to the medical team that are doing all the hard work and the Government of Mali for funding this.”
“Thankfully I don’t have to get up in the night if the babies start crying because the nurses deal with all of that, so I manage to get plenty of sleep. I’m lucky to be alive and have all this support,” she added.
Ms Cisse’s husband, Kader Arby, first visited the babies on 19 July. He was previously unable to travel due to Covid travel restrictions.
Upon meeting the nonuplets, Mr Arby said: “It was an incredible feeling and I just give thanks to God that they have survived and that their health is improving and that of my wife. When I saw them, I was lost for words, it’s been difficult to take it all in.”
He added: “There are a lot of things to work out about the future but for now we are just focused on looking after our babies and getting them home. We are unable to get involved in their day-to-day care but that’s a blessing because my wife needs the rest.
“The big concern for me is not the size of my house, how many rooms we have or money but making sure that my wife and children are OK.”
Both parents have said that the nonuplets were conceived naturally.
The four boys and five girls have been named: Mohammed, in honour of the king of Morocco, Bah, in honour of the former president of Mali, El Hadji, Oumar, Hawa, Adama, Fatouma Oumou and Kadidia.
While doctors have said that the health of the babies has significantly improved, they are expected to remain in hospital for another two months.
To date, the bill for their care has been around £1mn – paid for by the Malian government.