Octuplets given letters A to H instead of names
The octuplets born in Bellflower, California are doing fine and right now they have been named A to H in order of their birth.
All eight are now all breathing on their own, although three are still receiving supplemental oxygen.
"They're doing amazingly well," said Socorro Serrano, spokesman for Kaiser Permanente's Bellflower Medical Center, where the babies were born.
The mother, whose identity remains a secret, had not yet been able to hold any of the delicate babies — six boys and two girls — who were born weighing between 1 pound, 8 ounces (0.45 kilograms), and 3 pounds, 4 ounces (1.47 kilograms). However, she was able to see them in their incubators.
The babies' incubators were being kept near one another in the same room for bonding, said Miriam Khoury, clinical director of inpatient obstetrical nursing at the hospital.
Four of the babies were receiving tube-feedings of donated breast milk, said Ms Khoury.
The stomach of a fifth baby didn't absorb the milk he was given on Wednesday and now was being fed intravenously, she said. Two of the babies that were receiving milk also were being fed through a vein.
The mother has begun pumping breast milk in anticipation of eight hungry babies, said Ms Serrano.
Doctors were surprised by the birth of the eighth baby, because they were only anticipating seven, said Dr. Harold Henry, one of 46 staff members who delivered the babies by cesarean section.
Ms Khoury said the addition of eight babies to the neonatal unit had not stressed the hospital.
"This is history for us, so of course we're happy," she said.
Details about how the octuplets were conceived have not been released, but doctors not involved in the delivery believe the mother was likely on fertility treatment.
The babies are expected to remain in hospital for several weeks and could face serious developmental delays because of their small size.