Main content

Motherhood, multiplied

Two women discuss the challenges and rewards of raising multiple babies.

Raising four or six babies at once - what's it like? Kim Chakanetsa brings together two women in very different situations who are experiencing motherhood in its most concentrated form.

In April 2012, Lauren Perkins gave birth to sextuplets in Texas, following fertility treatment. Her six children - Andrew, Benjamin, Caroline, Leah, Allison and Levi - are now seven years old. Lauren says the first year was a blur of feeding and laundry and now the family exist in a kind of controlled chaos. Her biggest challenge is balancing the needs of their daughter, Leah, who has severe disabilities, with those of the rest of the family.

Inga Mafenuka is a single mum to baby quadruplets, who were born in Cape Town, South Africa in July 2018. Inga was 22 when she became pregnant naturally, and she gave birth to the two boys, Bubele and Buchule and two girls, Bunono and Bungcwele. To support the family, Inga has taken on a part-time job in retail, and is also continuing her IT studies, which were broken off by the pregnancy, but they are struggling for space in their two-bedroom house in the township.

Sadly, following the broadcast of this programme, Inga Mafenuka’s baby son, Bubele, died on August 1st 2019.

Produced by Jo Impey for the BBC World Service

L: Lauren Perkins (credit: Lisa Holloway)
R: Inga Mafenuka (credit: Armand Hough African News Agency)

Available now

27 minutes

Last on

Mon 22 Jul 2019 22:32GMT

Broadcasts

The best of The Conversation

The best of The Conversation

Enlightening, inspiring, revealing: Some of our favourite Conversations so far

The Conversation Podcast

The Conversation Podcast

Download every programme to listen where and when you like

The Conversation hits the road

The Conversation hits the road

What are women talking about around the world?

100 Women

100 Women

Global experience on image, work, relationships, equality, migration and working lives

Podcast