Meet the Ugandan woman who has given birth to 44 children

Meet the Ugandan woman who has given birth to 44 children


Mariam Nabatanzi, 36, has given birth to a record-breaking 44 children. The Ugandan mum has recorded 20 childbirths with 38 surviving children.

Mariam Nabatanzi’s first set of twins came a year after she got married at 12. Since then, she has given birth to five sets of quadruplets, four sets of triplets and six sets of twins and single births, making it a total of 44 children. She has 10 girls and 28 boys. All her kids were delivered at home except her last child, who was born via caesarean section.

Child bride and domestic abuse victim

She is now a single mum after her husband left her to care for their kids alone. Her husband, who is older than her by 28 years, married her when she was just 12 years old and he was 40. She has recounted the story of how she was married off as a young girl. According to her, she got to her new home and found out that her husband had other wives and children, and he would get violent whenever he felt offended.

The mystery behind Mariam Nabatanzi’s many multiple births

After 6 pregnancies and 18 children, she went to her doctor to find out why she was giving birth to multiples. She also wanted to stop having so many kids. The doctor’s suggestion was that she could die if she stopped having kids or decided to prevent pregnancy with contraceptives.

The problem was that she had a high ovary count, which means that her body released multiple eggs every month. This hyper-ovulation might be genetic, according to Nabatanzi. Her father had 45 children with different women, and much like her case, these were mainly multiple births with quadruplets in the mix.

Trying to stop getting pregnant

At 23, she already had 25 children. This time she was desperate to stop conceiving. “I got an IUD,” she said, “But it made me very sick and put me in a coma.”

Her last child, a 2-year-old boy, was delivered via C-section because of the trauma her body suffered when she tried the IUD.

Taking care of 38 children

“I have suffered a lot,” she says. “I have never been happy.”

Every night, her children fall asleep on dirty floors and rusty bunk beds in their cramped apartment. Despite being a school dropout herself, she has put in effort to keep her children in school. She sometimes accepts odd jobs just to support the family.

 Also Read: Tips for mums travelling with multiple kids

Written by

Julie Adeboye