Some women know from a young age how many children they want to have. Every woman’s decision is all her own usually. After all, it is her body and no one else's. Some only want one child, some accidentally get pregnant, while others want more than they can count. At times it seems like the women who want larger families try to outdo each other to see who can pop out the most babies during their lifetime. I simply cannot understand why any female on this list would want more than four or five children max.
One woman, from a long time ago, was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records with the title of, “Most Prolific Mother Ever.” She rightfully earned that title with a whopping 69 children! I bet your family is looking quite small compared to this woman. I don’t know how she was able to remember all of their names after the twentieth newborn was delivered. It wouldn’t surprise me if she started assigning them numbers instead.
Women who have large amounts of children, one would assume, would wreak havoc on their bodies after a certain amount. At least the labor gets easier after each additional pregnancy. Usually, you see some fathers with this many children since they do not have to actually carry the childlike moms do. It’s astonishing for women to give birth to such massive amounts. Keep reading to learn more about these amazing moms!
15Mrs. Vassilyev - 69 Children
There is not an abundant amount of information available about Mrs. Vassilyev, including her first name which remains a mystery. This comes as a surprise because she made a name for herself and broke a “Guinness Book of World Records” She rightfully earned the title of “Most Prolific Mother Ever.” It is a very nice and polite way of saying she liked to mass produce children.
She gave birth 27 times throughout a 40 year period from 1725 - 1765. She has a whopping amount of children, coming in an astonishing number of 69 kids total. She has sixteen pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets. Out of her 69 children, two sadly passed away during their infancy. Mrs. Vassilyev was the first wife of Feodor Vassilyev. He actually had 18 more children with his unnamed second wife.
14Michelle Duggar - 19 Kids And Counting
Michelle Duggar was born on September 13, 1966, in Tontitown, Arkansas. She got married to her husband, Jim Bob Duggar when she was only 17-years-old. Michelle had her first son, Josh, while she was on birth control on 1988 with her husband. After she had him, she went back on birth control and got pregnant again. This time she sadly lost the baby. Michelle and Jim Bob decided that this is God’s way of telling them that she was not meant to take birth control and that He will be the one to determine how many kids they should have.
Michelle was pregnant 17 times one of those times, she gave birth to a set of twins. Totaling 19 kids in all. If you want to be technical, she now has 20 children because in 2016 she was granted custody of her great-nephew. Michelle and her family were on a reality TV show rightfully called, “19 Kids and Counting.”
13Mrs. Gravata - Lucky 62
Mrs. Gravata was born in Tuscany and had a massively large family. It included 62 children, her husband, and herself. I could not imagine having all these children. It must have been a huge responsibility to look after them as well as trying to feed them all. She was the twin daughter of a mother who happened to be a triplet as well.
Multiple pregnancies tend to run in families. However, that does not mean if there are zero multiples in your family lineage that you will never be able to have at least the opportunity to get pregnant with twins, triplets or more. Mrs. Gravada first gave birth to a single baby girl. Afterward, she gave birth to an all boy set of sextuplets, followed by five more boys the following year. She then had two sets of triplets and quadruplets. Her next 32 babies who were brought into this world who were either only singles or twins and lastly, she had four more boys.
12Carole Horlock - Britain’s Most Famous Surrogate
Carole Horlock gave birth to an astonishing 15 children. Carole might have given birth to many children, but not all of them were hers to keep. She is known as Britain’s most prolific surrogate. She gave birth to two children of her own, and the other 13 children were surrogate children. Carole says she loves having babies, she is addicted to being pregnant, and getting paid to be a surrogate is just an added bonus for her.
Sadly, her doctors warned her that she is not able to get pregnant again without putting her own life at risk. The last baby that she was able to have the joy of giving birth to was in April 2013, to a baby boy that was bigger than average in weight. She had to deliver the baby via cesarean section. She said it was a difficult labor and delivery for her. Her first births were to her own children in 1991 and 1994. In 1995, she started her journey as a surrogate, which has now come to an end for her.
11Mariam Nabatanzi - 38 Children
By the time Mariam Nabatanzi was 37-years-old she already had 38 children. She only planned on having six children, but life had other plans for her; she realized it wasn’t up to her anymore. Almost all of her children were delivered at home. Her last child had to be delivered via cesarean section; this was her only child that was not delivered at home. In 1993, when she was only 12-years-old, she was married off to a 40-year-old man. She found marriage to be difficult for her at such a young age. To make matters worse, her husband was mean to her. He was also a polygamist and already had many children for her to care for.
Miriam had six sets of twins, four sets of triplets, three sets of quadruplets, and her remaining children were single pregnancies. She had a genetic predisposition to hyper-ovulate and was told by a doctor that if she stopped giving birth, it could be fatal and destroy her reproductive system. She tried using an IUD, but she became very sick and fell into a coma for a month. Luckily for her, she was able to find solace in her children for the family that she never had growing up.
10Barbara Stratzmann - 38 Sons And 15 Daughters
Barbara Straztmann lived between 1448 to 1503, in Böringham, Germany. She may not have been on this earth that long, but she sure did leave a legacy behind. Barbara amazingly had 53 children! She gave birth to 38 sons and 15 daughters. She lived to be 55-years-old and had 53 children, that’s almost one child for each year that she lived! Surprisingly, Barbara did not make into the Guinness Book of World Records; there is someone who actually gave birth to more children than her.
Barbara had one set of septuplets, one set of sextuplets, four sets of triplets, five sets of twins, and the rest of her children were single births. Sadly, Barbara had 19 stillborn babies; I couldn’t imagine going through that 19 times. During that era, it was common to have stillborn and also to have children pass away at an early age. It was common for women during her time to have many children to increase the chances of survival, but Barbara still had more pregnancies than average. Out of all of her children, 34 of them made it into adulthood and kept Barbara’s legacy alive.
9Elizabeth Greenhill - Overrun By 32 Girls
Elizabeth Greenhill was married to a well-known English surgeon named Thomas Greenhill. He was also a brilliant educator, and he was one of the few to practice embalming. He also published a book, “The Art of Embalming.” He was infamously known for those two outstanding achievements. During their time embalming was not practiced much. They had 39 children together.
Elizabeth gave birth to seven sons and 32 daughters. That must have been one hectic household with all of those girls. All of her pregnancies were single pregnancies except for one set of twins. All of her children were born alive and healthy; they were all baptized. Her last child was born after her husband passed away. She believed if he would have lived longer they would have had more children.
8Natalie “Nadya” Suleman - 14 Kids Later
Natalie became famous for delivering octuplets, she had eight babies, and she surpassed the previous worldwide survival rate. She was also the second woman to give birth to octuplets in the United States. Natalie also had six other children, which brings her to a grand total of 14 children. All of her children were conceived via IVF (in vitro fertilization). She was unemployed and was receiving public assistance when she had the octuplets.
She and her husband, Marco Mario Gutierrez, were married in 1996 and they separated in 2000.They filed for divorce in 2006; they were finally divorced in 2008. Marco said he left her because she couldn’t get pregnant and he hated the idea of IVF. Marco is not the biological father of any of her children. Natalie started IVF for the first time in 1997 when she was 21-years-old. The doctor who performed the procedure was later expelled from American Society for Reproductive Medicine, for untold reasons.
7Leontina Albina - Labor 64 Times
Leontina Albina was born in 1926; she also happens to hold the modern record for being the woman who has given birth to the most children. She has an astonishing 55 documented children. She claims that she actually gave birth to 64 kids. However, she was from Chile, so it was not uncommon for information to get lost. It makes you wonder if she really had 64 children; that’s an amazing record.
Sadly, 11 of her children’s lives were taken during an earthquake in Chile; leaving only 40 of her children to grow up. It would be hard for any mother to lose a child. It would be devastating to have 11 children to pass away at once. A situation like this would have still been horrifying and heartbreaking even though she had so many babies. A woman could have 100 kids, and they would still grieve the loss of one child. When you're a mother, you should love all of your children unconditionally, no matter how many children you have.
6Sue Radford - 20 Is Plenty
Sue Radford is 42-years-old. She is married to her husband, Noel, who had a vasectomy done when she was pregnant with her 9th baby, he decided to have a reversal of this procedure. The couple had 20 children and had their last baby, a son, in September 2017. The couple decided 20 is plenty; the baby factory is shutting down. They have 11 boys and 12 girls. Sue’s youngest child is around two months old, and her oldest child is 28-years-old. That’s a huge age gap between her children. With Sue’s last baby, she was only in labor for an hour; luckily, she made it in time to the hospital. Sadly, she lost a little baby boy who she named Alfie in 2014. She has three grandchildren as well. After having all of these kids, and deciding they don’t want any more children, you would think Noel would want another vasectomy, but he is highly against it.
5Mrs. Kirillov - 51 Babies
Mrs. Kirillov had an extraordinary number of children, she gave birth 21 times and had a total of 57 children. I couldn’t picture trying to take care of all of those children; she has way more than a football team. She must have been extremely exhausted all of the time. Not to mention, this was back in the 18th Century, so there was a higher mortality rate for mom and baby. She had ten sets of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets.
There is a limited amount of information regarding Mrs. Kirillov, that includes her first name. It’s been said that the amount of kids that she had is physically impossible, but with all the other women that had large amounts of children, I have to disagree and say it’s plausible.
4Maria Moreira - Ten Sets Of Twins
Maria Moreira lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She had ten sets of twins. She had 16 girls and two boys. Her last set of twins were born on July 3, 1984, and they were identical boys; making a total of 20 children. Those boys were outnumbered by the girls. She gave birth to her first set of twins when she was only 13-years-old.
Maria’s mother also had ten sets of twins; like mother, like daughter. Maria and her mother are a very unique pair being that they both had ten sets of twins. I wonder if her mother also had many girls just like she did. I think it’s safe to say they have very strong genes in their family. I couldn’t imagine having twins and having to take care of two newborns at the same time. This amazing mother was able to handle having twins so many times. Maria and her mother surely put a dent in the world’s population.
3Marie Elise Chamberland - 27
Marie Elise Chamberland married Heliodore Cyr in 1928. They had many children during their many years of marriage. By 1959 the couple had 27 children! All of her pregnancies were single births. Her husband appeared on the TV show I’ve Got a Secret, not once, but three times after having their 25th, 26th, and 27th children. Sadly, only 19 of their children survived to adulthood.
It seems like the more children you have; you have more heartbreak from losing more children. It would be life-shattering to have to go through the loss of a child so many times. When Heliodore was on the TV show as a contestant, they played a game, and the judges had to guess what his secret was, while he was blindfolded. His secret was pretty easy to guess: his secret was that he was going to be a father once again to his 27th child. Their last child was a baby boy after they had him they called it quits on having more children.
2Maddalena Granata - The Most Triplets
Maddalena Granata was born in 1839 in Italy; it was said that she brought 53 children into this world. Due to the fact that she had all those children, she became quite popular and well known. She was given the name of “Granata Case.” That was referred to women who have unusual births that included a very large number of children. It is not known how many of her children survived, so there is no known documentation.
Maddalena was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records, and she earned the title of most multiple triplets. She got married at the age of 28. Out of her 52 children, 49 of them were males; the odds were not in her favor for having girls. She had all of her children between 1839 to 1886. She also gave birth to 15 sets of triplets. That is simply amazing.
1Mary Joans - 15 Sets Of Twins
Mary Joans had married the love of her life, John Jonas. Together they created the lives of 33 children. The amazing thing that I have only seen with one other mother is that she had 15 sets of twins and every pair of twins that were born each has a boy and a girl. Sadly, 10 of these children passed away for unknown reasons. Mary’s time period was in the 19th Century. Only ten of her kids survived by the time their beloved father passed away on February 24, 1992, at 78-years old.
It is very rare to have that many sets of twins, especially when each set had a boy and a girl. I could only imagine how many grandchildren she will end up having; her children may end up having many sets of twins. It is too bad her husband won’t be around to see the wonderful, large family that they created together.
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