Octuplet mother 'will not talk to press'

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The Independent Online
The doctor caring for Mandy Allwood, the single mother pregnant with eight foetuses after undergoing fertility treatment, yesterday told her that he was not prepared to continue treating her in the full glare of the world's publicity.

Professor Kypros Nicolaides, said: "It is an exceedingly difficult pregnancy with very, very high risks that, whatever the decisions are, they will have a poor outcome."

He told ITN: "Under those circumstances, I am personally not prepared to manage the pregnancy under the spotlight of international publicity and she understands that well."

Professor Nicolaides also said that Ms Allwood now understood that the media glare could harm her and her unborn children. "I believe that the press interest will ultimately be detrimental to the health of my patient and the prospects of her pregnancy. I have discussed this request with my patient and she accepts my view," he added.

He said last night that Ms Allwood had agreed to give no further media interviews.

Asked if that meant Ms Allwood would cancel her contract with the News of the World, he said: "I do not know what the agreement is. We did not discuss that. But she will not give any more interviews to the News of the World or anyone else."

Whether this will affect the controversial pounds 1m "cash for foetuses" deal Ms Allwood and her boyfriend, Paul Hudson, have struck with the newspaper for exclusive rights to their story, is not clear. However, a spokesman said yesterday that Ms Allwood remained "entirely satisfied" with her arrangements with the newspaper, that she continued to receive expert advice from Professor Nicolaides, and would be seeing him within the next few days.

Professor Nicolaides, head of foetal medicine at King's College Hospital in south London, has criticised the newspaper deal. He urged executives earlier this week to tear up the contract, because Ms Allwood needed privacy to make important decisions about her future and that of her five-year- old son, and the foetuses she was carrying,

On Wednesday Professor Nicolaides had appealed to Ms Allwood, 31, to contact him. He said he had not heard from her for over a week since the story of her pregnancy following fertility treatment was broken.

The professor warned she could be putting her life and that of her babies at risk if she does not see him soon. Ms Allwood, a divorcee, is 14 weeks pregnant. She would need careful monitoring to avoid massive haemorrhaging, he said. "Each one will be growing and the uterus will be getting bigger and bigger and bigger. There is a point where the uterus cannot grow any bigger and then it will start contracting and everything will come out."

He said he had advised Ms Allwood to have a selective termination to reduce the number of foetuses to two. The chances of all eight being born healthy was a "wild dream".

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