Mali nonuplets all together on a sofa

On 4 May 2021, nine babies born in a clinic in Casablanca, Morocco, were officially recognized as the most children delivered at a single birth to survive.

The world's only nonuplets are nearing their third birthday (which will be in May) and their parents - Abdelkader Arby and Halima Cisse, a young couple from Mali - are delighted with their large family. 

The two also have an older daughter, now aged six.

In the beginning, doctors thought Halima was carrying “only” seven kids. 

An amazing and daunting task in itself - as raising seven babies is certainly no easy feat - but a surprise awaited the couple.

Once Halima was transferred to a clinic in Mali, the couple found out they actually had nine children on the way: five girls and four boys.

“We started with seven and Allah blessed us with nine,” the father said.

The nonuplets were born prematurely via Caesarean section, after a pregnancy that lasted a little under seven months. 

Safely coming into this world after 30 weeks, each baby weighed between 0.5 – 1 kg (1.1 - 2.2 lb).

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baby looking up

Nonuplets are an extremely rare occurrence. Until the Cisse family, there had been no case in medical history of nine babies from a single birth surviving for more than a few hours.

Thankfully, the mother and babies are well.

"Raising children is not easy," said their mother on the occasion of the nonuplet's second birthday, "but we know kids are a gift from God."

“The newborns and the mother are all doing well,” came the announcement from Mali’s health minister, Dr Fanta Siby, soon after the birth. 

Under the guidance of Dr Rochdi Talib, President and Director General of Akdital, the structure’s highly qualified medical staff promptly confirmed there was no post-partum haemorrhage, ensuring the mother's safety.

After the delivery, mother and babies all remained in the care of the clinic's paediatric neonatologist Khalil Msaif. 

The babies were immediately transferred to incubators and they spent several months in the hospital before they could finally go home with their doting parents and older sister. 

They continue to be fully monitored, and their growth is followed every step of the way.

Mali nonuplets at home 

Of course, parenting nine youngsters at the same time comes with many struggles and battles (imagine trying to feed or put to bed nine toddlers at the same time. That sounds like a record in itself!). 

Thankfully their mother has strength and patience in spades and can count on the help of her family, with her sister never leaving her side. 

She also has some infallible tricks.

“It’s not easy to put them to sleep all together,” she confessed to Guinness World Records on the occasion of the nonuplets' first birthday in 2022

We cuddle them so they can sleep - Halima

dad and child

A total of 32 medics and paramedics worked on delivering the record-breaking nonuplets. 

Today, with the children preparing to celebrate their third birthday in May 2024 - a healthy and cheerful lot, though their health is continuously monitored due to the incredible circumstances of their birth – the Cisses are extremely grateful to all the personnel who contributed to this miracle. 

We thank the medical corps of Mali and the Akdital group for accompanying us during our stay here in Morocco. And the nurses who accompanied us morning, noon and evening - Halima

Nonuplets with-their GWR certificate

"We are proud," the family said. "It's something exceptional."

Abdelkader added: “We also thank, after the Almighty, the authorities of my country Mali, who put everything in place for the follow-up and expenses.”

The previous record was held by eight American babies. 

They were born in 2009 to the Californian media personality Nadya Suleman (USA), known as "Octomom".

The incredible story of the nonuplets is not only a miraculous birth and a medical success, but it's also a shoutout to all mothers, maternal bonds and families that come together to help each other.

We can't wait to see what the future holds for these children and their fantastic parents!

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