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70-year-old woman who says she gave birth to twins shares first photos

The 'miracle babies,' as their pediatrician calls them, went home from the hospital with Mom
/ Source: TODAY

A 70-year-old woman who says she welcomed twins after undergoing IVF is home with her babies.

Safina Namukwaya had a boy and a girl via cesarean section at Women’s Hospital International and Fertility Center in Kampala, Uganda, on Nov. 29. The infants were discharged on Jan. 6, each weighing more than 5 pounds, according to Namukwaya's fertility specialist, Dr. Edward Tamale Sali.

“She can’t stop staring at them,” Sali tells of Namukwaya, adding that she is a “loving” and “playful” mother. 

Namukwaya gave her daughter the name Shakira Babiyre Nabagala, while her son is Kato Shafique Kangave (Babiyre and Kato for short.) Sali shares that Namukwaya also has a new moniker: She will now be known in her rural village as Nalongo, which means mother of twins. Namukwaya's husband, Walusimbi Badru, will be called Salongo, or father of twins.

Safina Namukwaya, 70,  posed with her 5-week-old twins, Kato and Babiyre.
Safina Namukwaya, 70, posed with her 5-week-old twins, Kato and Babiyre.Courtesy Samuel Tamale-Sali

At a press conference outside the hospital on Jan. 6, Sali recalled how Namukwaya was up and walking the same day she delivered her twins, and joked that she’s now “almost playing football.”

“She’s fit, her blood pressure is normal, she’s not diabetic — she’s a very healthy woman and the whole of Africa is rejoicing for her,” Sali said.

"If you want another child, we're here," Sali told Naumukwaya at the press conference.

The babies' pediatrician, Dr. Gloria Lunyolo, described the twins as "miracle babies," and said they are alternating between formula and breast milk.

 Dr. Edward Tamale Sali said he is "here" for 70-year-old Safina Namukwaya if she wants to have more children.
Dr. Edward Tamale Sali said he is "here" for 70-year-old Safina Namukwaya if she wants to have more children.Courtesy Samuel Tamale-Sali

On Dec. 1, two days after giving birth, Namukwaya told through an interpreter that she was feeling “great.”

“Some might argue that 70 years is old, but God decided that I get to have twins at 70. There is no one that can put a limit on God’s authority and power,” Namukwaya said.

Namukwaya, who also has a 3-year-old daughter, said she has a strong support network. 

“Some households will be helping me with washing and the babies because of my advanced age,” she revealed.

To help with the conception of her children, Namukwaya turned to in vitro fertilization (IVF). Due to Namukwaya’s age, she used donor eggs and her husband's sperm. 

“We implanted four embryos, and then of course, she conceived the twins,” Sali previously told

In the U.S., the upper age limit for in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and other medically assisted reproduction is generally mid-50s. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) states that embryo transfer is “discouraged in women over age 55.” 

Dr. Brian Levine, a practice director at New York City’s fertility clinic CCRM, told that it is “irresponsible” to impregnate a 70-year-old woman. 

“Data shows that women who give birth over the age of 50 have elevated rates of hypertension, gestational diabetes and preterm labor,” Levine said. “If a 70-year-old gets a blood clot, suffers a stroke, or has a heart attack, the kids will be developmentally and possibly physically delayed. And who is going to take care of these medically fragile kids when their parents die?”

Sali, however, said he didn’t hesitate to treat Namukwaya.

“It’s her human right. It’s her body,” he said. “She’s physically fit.”