Sextuplets born at Abington Hospital

June 6, 2011 9:21:13 AM PDT
Abington Memorial Hospital announced the birth of sextuplets to a local family on Wednesday.

The babies, three boys and three girls, were born premature earlier in the day and are being cared for in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit.

The hospital says further information will be released in the near future at the family's discretion.

So far, there is no word of complications for either mom or the babies.

Experts say the next 24 to 48 hours are critical for the survival of the sextuplets. The little ones were born premature, so their bodies are not fully developed, especially the lungs.

Sextuplets are usually born about 11 weeks premature and they typically weigh about 2 and a half pounds each.

They are closely monitored in the neonatal intensive care unit for at least several weeks, and sometimes months, before they can go home.

"The biggest risks for the babies are the age in which they were born," said Dr. Jason Baxter. "The more babies that are inside mom, the harder it is for mom to keep the babies inside to full term."

Dr. Jason Baxter is a high risk pregnancy doctor at Jefferson University Hospital.

He says for each child in a mother's womb, the average gestational age of delivery decreases by 3 to 4 weeks, so the sextuplets very well could be only 26 to 28 weeks old.

"The human body wasn't made to carry this many babies," said Dr. Baxter.

In fact, Dr. Baxter says he knows of only 36 sets of sextuplets.

And while we know very little about the family and babies inside Abington Memorial, they soon could become a media sensation.

One Ohio family is celebrating the one year anniversary of their little stable, and the Gosselins, who turned sextuplets into reality TV.

Michelle Blasberg had quadruplets six years ago. She and the rest of the family are living quiet lives in Minotola, relatively speaking.

"Just kind of crazy always busy, always tons of stuff that has to be done," said Blasberg.

Blasberg says the online support group, Mothers of Super Twins, or MOST has been a big help, and she suspects she may be chatting with the most recent mother of super twins soon.

"You know, 'can you give me any ideas of what I can do?' Just things like that. You know, 'how do you deal with large families and a number of kids at one time', said Blasberg.

Sextuplets are quite rare with only about 36 surviving sets around the world today.

Abington has had multiple birth families before, including quadruplets and two sets of quintuplets in the 1990's.

This is their first set of sextuplets.