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Britain gets first sextuplets in 25 years

A 31-year-old British woman has defied all the odds to give birth to the first sextuplets -- four girls and two boys -- in the UK in more than 25 years.

world Updated: May 21, 2010 10:29 IST

A 31-year-old British woman has defied all the odds to give birth to the first sextuplets -- four girls and two boys -- in the UK in more than 25 years.

Surrounded by a team of doctors and nurses, the woman delivered the babies incredibly 14 weeks earlier, the Daily Mail reported on Friday.

The tiniest of the babies, born last Friday at 11.05 pm, weighed under 1 lb 5 oz and the biggest just 1 lb 15 oz.

The new arrivals were under the close care of experts in the neonatal intensive care unit of Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital.

Live births of such a high number of babies are rare and the birth of sextuplets is believed to occur in just one in every 4.5 million pregnancies.

The next few days and weeks are "critical" for the siblings, who are dependent on an array of medical equipment and the devotion of experts for their survival.

Staff at the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals said they felt "privileged" to have played a part in the birth, which had been the subject of meticulous planning over several weeks.

Dr Kenny McCormick, Consultant Neonatologist, said "The next few days and weeks will be critical. Babies that are born this early need a lot of specialist care."

"They are receiving round the clock intensive care and specialist nursing at the moment and their condition is constantly monitored."

The last sextuplets known to have been born in England were actually delivered into a sea of publicity back in 1983.

The Walton sisters were the world's first surviving all-girl sextuplets, born in Liverpool to Graham and Janet Walton.