I WAS shocked, a month ago, to hear about a woman in Morocco giving birth to nine babies. Now another woman, in South Africa, has had ten children.

Knowing how all-consuming having one baby is, how on earth are these women going to cope? It’s not a case of moving house for an extra bedroom - you’d need a block of flats. I can’t even imagine what the night-feed rota will be like. As for the cost...

I’d been feeling sorry for the parents of a brood of blue tits in our nestbox, who have been flitting back and forth for two weeks with grubs. But at least in the bird world, once the young are mobile, that’s it. Your responsibility ends.

Not so for these women- they won’t have a moment to themselves for at least the next two decades.