SEOUL, Jan. 12 (Korea Bizwire) – In what is a first in the South Korean annals of childbearing, a mother of triplets has given birth to one and two of them on different calendar dates.
According to Seoul National University Hospital, 35-year old Son Ji-young gave birth to her first son on November 13 last year, and later delivered two more baby boys on January 8.
Despite having shared the womb and with birthdays less than two full months apart, the nature of South Korea’s age system means the November-born infant will be considered a year older than his two brothers.
The SNU Hospital first attempted this extremely rare type of child delivery practice in 2004. Since then, it has carried out similar attempts on two to three occasions per year.
The early childbirth was not by choice; in her 25th week of pregnancy, Son experienced a condition called preterm premature rupture of membranes, often referred to as “when the water breaks”. Going into premature labor, her doctor made the decision to seal the uterine cervix after delivering only one child, so that the other two babies could continue to develop in their mother’s womb.
Son eventually gave birth to the two remaining triplets in her 33rd week of pregnancy. The three newborns are currently being cared for at the SNU Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, where they will remain for two weeks (until the 35th week of pregnancy). The hospital stated that all three infants are healthy.
Dr. Jeon Jong-gwan, who oversaw both childbirths, said, “We are happy that all three newborns are in good health. Because the first child was born too soon, we made the decision to give the other two infants more time to grow.”
Jeon added that this was the first case where triplets were born over eight weeks apart and managed to survive.