The triplets were delivered via Cesarean section on June 18. Although there are no statistics for triplet birth rates, the probability of having identical triplets is extremely low. For the doctor on duty, Professor Dr. Ulrich Gembruch, the trio was his third set of identical triplets in 20 years.
“We didn't want to believe it at first,” mother Karina P., 32, said in a statement. “They're triplets – identical, even!”
The position of the babies' umbilical cords and blood vessels made a natural birth impossible, though C-section delivery was also risky. The triplet's mother and father, from Mönchengladbach, opted to give birth at the Bonn University Clinic, a hospital experienced with multiple-birth deliveries.
“We wanted to keep the health risks for my wife and children to a minimum,” father Ingomar P., 47, said.
The babies were delivered via C-section to avoid preterm labour or a premature rupture of the membranes during the 34th week of pregnancy – a life-threatening situation. “All three could have then lost blood through their umbilical cords, as their bloodstreams are directly connected,” Professor Dr. Gembruch said.
The triplets weighed between 1,700 and 1,960 grammes and measured 39 to 44 centimetres in length. They join two older sisters, aged 6 and 2, and a 23-year-old half-brother.