ROTTERDAM - For the first time in Dutch history, quintuplets were born. It concerns two girls and three boys, from between the 1340 en 1660 gram. Mother and children are doing well under the circumstances.

The children were born by Caesarean section. There were six minutes between the first and the last.

The quintuplets were born seven weeks prematurely. The intention was actually not to have the children born until next week, but today it turned out that postponement was no longer possible. The mother Johanna van het Dijkzigt was then transferred to the Sophia Children's Hospital.

The children have now been admitted to the incubator ward of the hospital. The doctors point out that there are still some problems with the babies' breathing, but are optimistic expect it to be okay.

Hormone treatment

Father Hendrik (34) and mother Johanna (32) from 's-Gravenzande have been married for more than ten years, but had no children yet. The mother was treated with hormones, to increase the chance of pregnancy. Previous treatment has not yet resulted in pregnancy.

The entire operation was filmed and photographed by two hospital photographers. The rights to those images have been sold by the parents to a national morning paper.

According to gynecologist Wladimiroff of the Sophia Children's Hospital, quintuplets are a rarity. The natural chance of quintuplets is one in four million. That chance is getting bigger, if the woman is being treated with hormone injections.

"The great danger with such pregnancies is that children are born much too prematurely", Wladimiroff told the GPD magazines. “In general, we aim to postpone birth until the seventh month of pregnancy. In almost all cases, the delivery takes place by caesarean section. ”

As far as is known, the quintuplets are the first in Dutch history. Quintuplets have occurred in Groningen before, before World War II, but the children died during pregnancy.

In 1969 another quintuplets were born in England. The most famous quintuplets are the Dionne quintuplets from Cananda. The children in the family became world famous. For hormone treatments, four quadruplets have already been born in our country in the past ten years.

Rolls of rusk

After that it was a big party in the hospital. he will 65 (!) rolls of rusk to allow the entire staff to enjoy the remarkable achievement. "These things never stop with the care of doctors and nearby nurses", Financial director De Jong of the Sophia Children's Hospital informed De Telegraaf.

De Jong: “The total commitment of the entire staff is necessary. Everyone spontaneously brought the best forces into play. ”

Next Monday, the father will report the quintuplets to the Rotterdam mayor Van der Louw.

In the residence of the new parents, 'S-Gravenzande, a party committee has been set up.

Hoe ging het verder?

The birth of the quintuplets is big news and has been on the front pages for days. In the first days, the focus is mainly on the physical condition of the five little ones.

The weight of the children decreases a bit at first, but increases rapidly thereafter. The mother is also doing well, the newspapers.

De Telegraaf had paid five thousand guilders for the exclusive photos of the quintuplets, the father later admits. Margriet magazine is allowed to write a series about the children and their upbringing for the same amount.

The hospital and the family are inundated with gifts and flowers after childbirth. According to some newspapers, there was no empty vase left in the hospital after the delivery.

The first children are allowed to go home almost two months after the birth. Two months later the family is complete. There will then also be a party in a sports hall in 's Gravenzande. The family is offered a playroom on behalf of the residents of the town in the Westland

In July the family is visited by Queen Juliana.

First or not?

Whether this was really a first is still the question. Soon stories of previous quintuplets in the Netherlands emerge. So would be in 1957 quintuplets were born in Roosendaal, but those children were "not viable".

In Scheveningen, too 1719 a quintuplets are born, but those children too soon died. The parents then left the children in state for a month and a half. Large crowds of people came to see Scheveningen.


The attention for quintuplets from Westland partly disappears when a year later a sextuplet is born in Leiden.


TVNZ – 19-01-1976 – Quintuplets born in Rotterdam

Limburgsch Newspaper – 19-01-1976 – First quintuplets in the Netherlands

Leeuwarder Courant – 19-01-1976 – First Dutch quintuplets are doing well

Trouw – 20-01-1976 – Al in 1719 quintuplets in our country

Het Vrije Volk – 14-02-1976 – Can't those poor sheep help

Author: Dave Datema

published: 17-01-2021

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