Sun | May 28, 2017

Quadruplets born to 65-year-old mom still in critical phase

Published:Thursday | May 28, 2015 | 5:00 AM
Christoph Buehrer (left), director of neonatology at Charite Hospital, and Wolfgang Henrich, director of gynaecology at Charite Hospital, brief the media about the situation of 65-year-old mother Annegret Raunigk and her quadruplets, in Berlin, Germany, yesterday.

BERLIN (AP):

Doctors said the week-old quadruplets born prematurely to 65-year-old Annegret Raunigk in Berlin are still in intensive care, but have been gaining a little weight and are being given their mother's milk through feeding tubes.

The babies were born during the 26th week of pregnancy at Berlin's Charite Hospital on May 19.

Five things to know about the quadruplets:

THE BABIES

Neeta and her three brothers, Dries, Bence and Fjonn, weighed between 655 grams (1lb, 7 ounces) and 960 grams (2lb, 2 ounces) each at birth. Their exact weight today is not known because they are too fragile to be put on a scale.

Neeta is the smallest, but is fitter than her three brothers, said Christoph Buehrer, Charite's director of neonatology. She underwent successful surgery this week to close two small holes in her intestines.

All four babies will remain in intensive care for several weeks and are supported by machines helping them breathe. "Breathing is their most critical vital function," said Buehrer, adding that it's not clear yet whether the children will have any long-term health issues because of the premature

delivery.

THE MOTHER

Raunigk is believed to be the oldest mother to have ever delivered quadruplets, said Charite's director of obstetrics, Wolfgang Henrich.

She came to the hospital with premature contractions and high blood pressure and gave birth by Caesarean section. She is now pumping breast milk for her babies, and doctors say she didn't get any artificial hormones to start the lactation.

The schoolteacher already has 13 children, aged 9 to 44, from five other fathers. Because egg donation is illegal in Germany, she travelled to Ukraine to have donated, fertilised eggs transferred.

She says she decided to become pregnant again because her nine-year-old daughter wanted a younger sibling.