A 22-year-old woman in Tanzania has given birth to a healthy baby after a rare pregnancy, during which the unborn child grew in her abdomen rather than her womb.
The woman went to hospital with stomach pain at 32 weeks and told medical officials she noticed her baby was not moving much during the pregnancy and that she was struggling to go to the bathroom. Previous antenatal check-ups had suggested the pregnancy was normal and, after a checkup, doctors thought the symptoms were caused by anemia and an infection.
Tests eventually revealed the baby was growing in her abdomen and doctors determined the mother had no amniotic sac or protective amniotic fluid for her baby. Despite, that, she gave birth to a health baby weighing 3lbs 7oz and both mother and child have been discharged from the hospital.
The London Daily Mail has more on the abdominal pregnancy:
It is thought that the fertilised egg initially implanted in her fallopian tube from where it was expelled, allowing it to implant again in her abdomen. The mother had to be given a blood transfusion because she had severe anaemia but she and the baby were both discharged from hospital healthy.
Abdominal pregnancies are rare forms of ectopic pregnancies which occur when the baby implants in the abdomen instead of the womb. They are often not picked up on ultrasound scans and usually occur as a result of a fallopian tube rupturing or expelling a fertilised egg that has implanted in the tube.
Unlike with other ectopic pregnancies, there is a chance that a viable baby will be born following an abdominal pregnancy but there is also an increased risk of the mother dying.
Abdominal pregnancies are thought to account for about one in every 10,000 pregnancies.
Abdominal pregnancies are dangerous as they can cause severe bleeding in the mother. They can also result in anaemia and infection.
A woman with an abdominal pregnancy will not be able to give birth naturally and the baby will have to be delivered surgically.
If this does not happen, the baby will die and can become calcified inside the mother.