Octuplets born to a woman in southern California were breathing without assistance on Tuesday, one day after their remarkable birth at a Los Angeles area hospital, doctors said.
The six boys and two girls - only the second set of octuplets in history to be born alive - were delivered by Caesarian section on Monday roughly nine-and-half weeks premature at a medical center in Bellflower.
AdvertisementTwo of the babies had been placed on ventilators Monday but Doctor Mandhir Gupta said the children had now been taken off the machines, describing the prognosis for the infants as good "at this time."
"They are breathing on their own," Gupta said. "They still need some support with oxygen but only through the nose, so most of the work of breathing is done by themselves."
News of the births garnered widespread media attention Tuesday. The mother of the children has requested anonymity and hospital officials have not confirmed whether she had undergone fertility treatment.
Obstetrician and gynecologist Karen Maples said Monday the babies were born between 10:33 am and 10:38 am (1833 GMT and 1838 GMT). They weighed between 1.5 pounds (680 grams) and 3.4 pounds (1.54 kg).
The doctors and mother had expected seven babies.
"After we got to baby G, which is what we expected, we were surprised by the arrival of baby H!" said Maples at a press conference.
"It's quite easy to miss a baby when you have seven. Performing an ultrasound is very difficult," admitted another doctor Harold Henry.
Octuplets are extremely rare.
The first birth of living octuplets happened in Houston in December 1998 when a 27-year-old American of Nigerian origin, brought six girls and two boys into the world. One of the girls died a week later.
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