Woman gives birth to seven IVF babies

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A woman who had fertility treatment has given birth to septuplets. While the babies were said to be in a critical condition last night, doctors described them as "beautiful".

The mother of the five boys and two girls has not yet seen her children, who were being treated in a neonatal intensive care unit of a Washington hospital. Instead she had been shown photographs of them.

"She looked at each [photo] and clutched them to her breast," said Dana Adamson, nurse manager at Washington's Georgetown University Hospital. "You could tell she was crying. She looked at each individually, very carefully."

The mother of the septuplets – who has asked not be identified – was said to be in good condition and "very serene" after the children were delivered by caesarean section late on Thursday. Each of the babies weighed about two pounds and measured about 13 inches long. All were delivered within three minutes.

Born at approximately 28 and a half weeks, the babies were fully formed but small, said Dr Siva Subramanian, the hospital's chief of neonatology.