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Higher-order multiple births can be quite complicated and overwhelming for new parents to be! Here, we have a detailed article that talks about all you need to know regarding this special type of pregnancy.
What Are Quintuplets?
Quintuplets meaning refers to the birth of 5 babies to a mother in a single pregnancy. A baby that’s a part of this five-set of babies is often referred to as ‘quint’ or ‘quintuplet!’ Quintuplet pregnancy or higher-order births that are also known as ‘super twins’ are quite rare and mostly happen because of increased consumption of fertility drugs and assisted reproduction technology.
History Of First Quintuplets
The history of first quintuplets is quite interesting, the first set of quintuplets were born in Canada in 1934 and were known as Dionne quintuplets. Dionne quintuplets were five girls named Annette, Emilie, Cecile, Yvonne, and Marie, all of them attracted worldwide attention. The quintuplets were taken from their parent’s care under the custody of a doctor. They were a tourist attraction, as nobody had seen a birth like this before.
Major Types Of Quintuplets
Quintuplets can be majorly classified as the following:
1. Fraternal Quintuplets
Fraternal quintuplets, also known as polyzygotic quintuplets occurs when five unique sperms fertilise five eggs separately. Polyzygotic quintuplets can be all male or all female or a combination of both.
2. Identical Quintuplets
Identical quintuplets are also known as monozygotic quintuplets that occurs when one sperm fertilises one egg and that splits into two or more embryos. In the case of monozygotic quintuplets, a split can occur more than once that produces a monozygotic triplet or in rare cases monozygotic quintuplets! Fully monozygotic quintuplets are extremely rare. Monozygotic quintuplets will always result in the same-sex of all babies.
3. Combination Quintuplets
A combination of the occurrence of both monozygotic and polyzygotic quintuplets is known as a combination quintuplet. Combination quintuplets can be all male or all female or a combination of both.
Chances of Having Quintuplets
The odds of quintuplets or higher-order multiples are quite rare. During 2017, the US reported 49 higher-order births! This statistic includes quintuplets, sextuplets, and even septuplets or more. However, it is believed that spontaneously getting a woman pregnant with quintuplets is extremely rare and an estimated chance of having a quintuplet pregnancy is one in 60 million births! The occurrence of natural quintuplets is 1 in 55,000,000 births! The recently reported quintuplet births were a result of assisted reproductive technology such as In-vitro fertilization or IVF
Surviving Quintuplet Pregnancy and Labor
In general, for a normal pregnancy, the average gestation period or full-term labor is of 40 weeks. However, in the case of a quintuplet pregnancy, the gestation period is about 29 weeks. On average, the expecting mothers will gain more than 50 pounds of extra weight while carrying the quintuplets in the womb. They also have to undergo a surgical procedure known as cervical cerclage in which the cervix is stitched shut to prevent any preterm labor. Most likely, quintuplet birth take place by cesarean or C-section delivery and each child has a birth weight of 2 pounds and 12 ounces on an average. The quintuplets will be admitted to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) for appropriate medical care until they reach their actual expected birth date. Quintuplets generally, do not share the same birth dates, in most cases, there is a delayed interval delivery which is also known as iatrogenic asynchronous birth. It means that each baby is born days or weeks apart from the others!
Some Interesting Facts About Quintuplets
These interesting facts about quintuplets would simply blow your mind!
- The Wilkinson quintuplets were born in the year 2007 at around 34 weeks and weighed about 21 pounds at birth all together!
- An interesting novel was released in 1993, named ‘Feather Crowns’ it’s a story about a young couple in Kentucky who gives birth to quintuplets!
- The first quintuplet birth in the US had happened in the year 1875 and was reported as the Kanouse quints in Watertown, all of them were boys but did not survive.
- According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the heaviest quintuplets were reported to be of 25 pounds together at birth and were born to two mothers one in 1956 to Mrs. Kamalammal, India, and another one to Mrs. Liu Saulin in 1953, China.
- A famous baseball player Melvin Mora had fathered quintuplets in the year 2001, three girls and two boys!
- A show named ‘quintuplets’ was aired in 2004 starring Andy Richter and Rebecca Creskoff in which they are parents to teenage quintuplets!
Having quintuplets or multiples comes with unique parenting challenges, it’s best to seek support and advice from experts and other families. Some of the organizations that offer resources and assistance include – ‘Multiple Births’, Canada, and ‘Raising Multiples’ (Mother of Supertwins) community, United States!