Nadya Suleman (a.k.a. Doud) reportedly held a psychiatric technician's license, though it was not clear if she was currently employed.
She holds a 2006 degree in child and adolescent development from California State University, Fullerton, and as late as last spring she was studying for a master's degree in counseling, a college official told ABC News.
In a statement released today, Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center in Bellflower, Calif., where the children were born, said the infants were showing "good progress." All of the babies are breathing unassisted, and are being tube-fed donated breast milk and given intravenous nutritional supplements, the statement said.
No matter what someone earns, giving birth and caring for octuplets is an expensive proposition. The infants' delivery was performed by a team of 46 doctors, nurses and surgical assistants stationed in four delivery rooms at the Bellflower Medical Center, and it likely cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"Where is the milk money going to come from? How are we going to get these children to bed at night? Who is going to stay up with six children?" asked Dr. Charles Sophy of L.A. County Children and Family Services. "There is a lot of realty setting in."
"You can think of it as an eightfold increase on a singleton birth," said Steven M. Donn, director of the Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at the University of Michigan Health System. "By comparison, the mother's care will probably be a bargain."
Costs for the average delivery of a full-term pregnancy range from $9,000 to $25,000, depending on whether the baby is delivered by Caesarean section or vaginally. Eight times $25,000 is a whopping $200,000.
"For reasons we don't completely understand, risks with multifetal deliveries are greater than [normal births]," Donn said.
The medical costs for babies born preterm, like the California octuplets, which were born nine weeks premature, are also above average.
"The real significant costs come on the pediatric side, particularly when it comes to neonatal intensive care," said Dr. Geeta Swamy, a maternal-fetal specialist at Duke University Medical Center.
A full-term pregnancy lasts from 38 to 42 weeks, according to the National Institutes of Health, and Swamy estimated for babies born at 30 weeks the hospital stay could be "anywhere from six weeks to six months."
For an infant stay in a neonatal intensive care unit, costs can add up to "a few thousand a day," she said.
"So we are looking at probably several hundreds of thousands of dollars for the family. If it is $100,000 per baby, for example, then it would be $800,000 for all eight," Swamy said.
Sally, a next-door neighbor and family acquaintance who requested only her first name be used, said her past conversations with the Doud indicated that she may have used assisted reproduction in her earlier pregnancies.
Sally said that the mother had told her that all six of her previous children also were conceived through artificial means.