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Region's first sextuplets due next month

By Anna Ramdass anna.ramdass@trinidadexpress.com

A 28-year-old Central woman will create history in Trinidad and Tobago and the region when she delivers the Caribbean's first sextuplets.

And, just yesterday, another woman was admitted to Mt Hope Women's Hospital with quadruplets.

The young woman who will deliver the six babies was all smiles yesterday at Mt Hope where, in a brief interview with the media, she said she was ready to bring her bundles of joy into this world.

It is her first pregnancy.

"I'm feeling very well considering the number (of babies)," said the mother who preferred not divulge her name to the media just yet.

She said she did not expect to be having six babies, but she and her family have already started looking at possible baby names.

Her husband, she said, was also very excited and her family were praying to ensure that there is smooth delivery.

Not only were the family anxious and overjoyed but the staff at the Mt Hope hospital are also enthusiastic to welcome the Caribbean's first sextuplets.

Chairman of the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCWRHA) Dr Shehenaz Mohammed held a meeting with all senior staff members who have put plans in place for the birth of the babies.

The six babies will be delivered via Caesarean section on March 14.

Prof Bharath Bassaw, consultant, said the woman was being constantly monitored as there were risks associated with such pregnancies.

"It is the first case of sextuplets of a higher order pregnancy in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean...this is an uncommon condition, when this happens most of these pregnancies would end long before due to miscarriages, currently we are just under 27 weeks of gestation," said Bassaw.

In this country, Bassaw said, the viability by law is at 28 weeks.

The patient, he said, was doing fine and resting comfortably.

Questioned on whether there was a 100 per cent surety of all six babies surviving, Bassaw responded: "In this field, there is nothing like 100 per cent, but at this point we can say that we are optimistic in terms of both mother and the foetal outcomes."

He said there were no attempts to determine the sex of the babies.

"The patient has been in hospital (since January), she is on a number of medications so apart from bed rest she's also on certain drugs to keep the uterus quiet," said Bassaw.

He said the medical team was trying as much as possible to prevent pre-term labour and fertility drugs were being administered to prolong the pregnancy.

"At this point all babies are alive and growing very well, in fact, better than we expect when you think about six babies in a small confined space," said Bassaw.

Nursing administrator Claudette Fraser Udika said the nurses have their bags packed and ready for the delivery at any time.

She said the teams have been ready since the 25th week of pregnancy.

"We have already packed our bags in case we are not here but we can be here. We also have emergency teams, we have increased our staffing in both the theatre and midwives in the general hospital."

Fraser Udika said that all concerns raised by the patient were addressed and the hospital staff were working with her family, extended family and clergy to ensure she was comfortable and happy.

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