Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

First sextuplets in England for 25 years

Most mothers feel a little overwhelmed when their newborn baby is handed to them. So spare a thought for Vicky Lamb, who is "praying for a small miracle" after giving birth to six, the first living sextuplets to be born in England in 25 years.

Having overcome amazing odds against living through the birth, the four girls and two boys now face a struggle to survive into adulthood. The 31-year-old mother is recuperating at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. She is said to be recovering well, and her newborns are being monitored at the centre's neonatal intensive care unit. The six tiny babies, born 14 weeks prematurely by Caesarean section, weigh between 1lb 5oz and 1lb 15oz.

Mrs Lamb took the same fertility drug for this pregnancy that she used before the conception of her first child, Gracie, who is now five.

The publicist Max Clifford, who is representing the family, said Mr and Mrs Lamb were "hoping and praying that everything is going to be all right, but they realise they are praying for a small miracle". Live births of sextuplets are rare, occurring once in every 4.5 million pregnancies.