Multiple Births

Canada’s 1st Set Of Sextuplets: Tiny, But Alive

This story was reported late last night on the news, but hospital officials were not comfirming the birth of these babies at that time.

A spokesman for B.C. Women’s Hospital and Health Centre contacted by The Canadian Press would not confirm or deny the births had taken place, citing privacy policy. is now report that Canada’s 1st set of sexuplets were born yesterday to a Vancouver couple.

Six babies were born to one mom in a Vancouver hospital yesterday.

“They’re very tiny but all six are alive,” an informed source told The Province late last night. It is believed to be the first time sextuplets have been born in Canada.

The source said the four boys and two girls each weighed about 800 grams, or 1.8 pounds, and were born between 25 and 26 weeks into their mom’s pregnancy.

In general, babies born after 24 to 25 weeks of gestation are mature enough to survive, although they need a prolonged period of intensive care. Babies born premature have a higher risk of blindness, hearing problems and mental retardation than babies born full term.

“We used to say viability for the baby was 28 weeks,” the source said. “But that’s changed now. They have a good shot at survival but there’s a chance some may not become fully functioning adults.”

The mother had been at B.C. Women’s Hospital and Health Centre for several weeks because doctors wanted to keep her stable to maximize the time the babies would stay in the womb.

The source said one of the babies was born naturally and the others by emergency caesarean section.

A hospital spokesman would not confirm or deny the births had taken place, citing a privacy policy.

The hospital was in the news a few weeks ago when rare conjoined twins were born there. They went home just before Christmas.

Among multiple births, six babies are extremely rare and until now, apparently unknown in Canada. Most multiple births, including the birth of Vancouver’s sextuplets, are due to the use of fertility drugs.

There are just six sets of sextuplets living in the United States — two sets in New York, and one each in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Alabama and Kansas.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2001 that the incidence of triplets and other high-number births declined for the first time in 1999, after the rate nearly doubled between 1990 and 1998.

Canada’s most famous multiple births were the Dionne quintuplets, delivered by a country doctor in a rural Ontario farmhouse. They became international Depression-era celebrities, their every move recorded and written about.

They were the first-ever quints known to have survived infancy.

It may sound weird, but 800 grams is a decent size for a “micropreemie”. Hopefully these babies were able to benefit from a shot of Celestone to help their lungs develop faster while in utero.

B.C. Women’s Hospital and Health Centre is the same hospital that delivered conjoined twins, Krista and Tatiana in October. They have been receiving quite a bit of press lately because those twins were able to go home for Christmas.

In 2000 BC Women’s Hospital delivered 12 sets of triplets and 1 set of quads – that’s 40 babies for 13 families! They also delivered 144 sets of twins.

I will keep you updated on the progress of these special babies!!

About the author

Lisa Arneill

Mom of 2 boys and founder of and World Traveled Family. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!

1 Comment

  • They sound like they are all so small. Let’s hope the doctor are able to work miracles and they all make history.

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