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Septuplet Pregnancy in 30th Week

November 12, 1997

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ A woman carrying septuplets is now in her 30th week of pregnancy, raising hopes all seven babies will be born healthy.

Bobbi McCaughey was in good condition Wednesday at Iowa Methodist Medical Center, where she has been since Oct. 15. Women with multiple fetuses usually don’t carry them for the full 40-week gestation period, and no due date has been set for 29-year-old Mrs. McCaughey.

One expert said the septuplets should stay in the womb for as long as possible.

``Every week counts,″ Dr. Jennifer Niebyl, head of obstetrics and gynecology at University Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, said Monday.

Niebyl said fetal development after the 30th week mostly consists of weight gain and organ development.

A team of 40 specialists remains on call to help deliver the babies _ four boys and three girls, according to expectant father Kenny McCaughey.

McCaughey said the babies will be delivered by Caesarean section

Niebyl said statistics show that the infant survival rate for all births is 96 percent after the 28th week of pregnancy.

``If you’ve got seven babies in there, obviously they’re going to be smaller in size, but 28 weeks is where the curve flattens out in their favor,″ she said.

There are no known surviving sets of septuplets in the world.

The last known delivery of septuplets was by a Saudi Arabian woman on Sept. 22 following a 6 1/2-month pregnancy. Only one child survived.

The last set of septuplets born in the United States was to an Orange, Calif., couple in 1985. One was stillborn, three died within 19 days, and the remaining three had medical and developmental problems.

Mrs. McCaughey had been taking a fertility drug to get pregnant.

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