If all goes well, a woman in the northern African nation of Tunisia may labour her way into the record books by delivering 12 babies, or duodecuplets, British newspapers have reported.
Defying medical advice, the woman, in her mid-30s, has vowed to give natural birth to six boys and six girls, The Sun said.
The report comes seven months after Nadya Suleman, 33, of California gave natural birth to eight healthy babies.
Like Suleman, the Tunisian woman conceived after undergoing fertility treatment, though it’s not clear if it was IVF (in vitro fertilisation) or ovulation induction, the paper said.
An Arabic teacher in Gafsa, around 250km south of Tunis, the woman has had two miscarriages, The Guardian reported.
“All I want to do is to be able to hug my babies and show them all my love,” the paper quoted her as telling hospital workers.
Her husband Marwan, whom she married in 2007, is elated. “In the beginning we thought that my wife would give birth to twins. But more foetuses were discovered. Our joy increased with the growing number,” The Sun quoted him as saying.
The Tunisian government has promised to help the couple.
Doctors say the woman is taking a huge risk, and may even deliver in 20 weeks, around halfway of a normal pregnancy.
An Australian woman had delivered nine babies in 1971, but all of them died later, The Sun reported. In 1996, a Greek woman was pregnant with 11 babies, but nine of them had to be aborted to save two lives, according to The Guardian.