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Identical quadruplets 'one-in-13 million'

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Identical quadruplets 'one-in-13 million'
Photo: DPA
08:50 CET+01:00
A woman has given birth to identical quadruplets which doctors said was statistically like winning the lottery – except that the family will see their lives changed by millions of nappies rather than banknotes.

The four girls – Laura, Sophie, Jasmin and Kim – who were not the product of artificial insemination, were delivered ten weeks early on Friday and are all said to be doing fine, as is their 31-year-old mother.

Doctors at Leipzig Hospital told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that the fact the pregnancy ran into the 28th week without any problems was practically a miracle. Although single babies generally remain in the womb for 40 weeks, multiple baby pregnancies are often much shorter.

The girls weighed between 980 grams and 1,100 grams at birth, which was by planned Caesarean section. “They came through the early birth astoundingly well,” a spokeswoman for the hospital said.

Doctors said the chances of having identical quadruplets were very low – about one-in-13 million.

Although there are risks for any premature babies, the chances for the four girls look very good. They will remain in incubators at the hospital until shortly before their due date.

Mayor of Leipzig Burkhard Jung was made the girls' first godfather and went to see them on Tuesday.

“Crazy,” he said afterwards. “It is simply unbelievable. The most beautiful thing is that everything is complete. In short – all are healthy.”

The children's mother will be allowed to go home on Wednesday, but she and her husband are being allowed access to the babies whenever they like.

At the moment they can only stroke the little girls in their incubators, and talk to them. But Ulrich Thome, a doctor at the hospital, said, “When they are a little more stable, the mother can begin kangaroo care.” This means she can take them onto her chest, which does them enormous good. The babies are all being bottle fed with their mother's milk.

The parents already have one child – a five-year-old boy – who will now have to deal with four little sisters.

Thome said the parents were, “of course somewhat stressed – they do not yet know how it will work when they are released from hospital.”

The Local/hc

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