Was a baby in China really born pregnant? That’s the bizarre story emerging about a little girl born in 2010 with strange growths inside her.
At the time, these objects were assumed to be tumors, removed from the baby not long after she was born.
However, closer examination of the alleged tumors seemed to closely resemble fetuses that stopped developing at around the 8-to-10 week period of gestation. The fetuses each possessed a spine, bone (and bone marrow), and even an anus. It’s certainly enough to suggest that the masses were human rather than simply tumorous growths — but not everyone is convinced.
First, the matter of a baby being born pregnant seems rather far-fetched, leaving medical experts to grasp for a more logical explanation as to what happened.
— ITV News (@itvnews) February 10, 2015
One popular theory is that instead of being “pregnant,” the infant had the misfortune of being the sole survivor of a group of triplets.
Early in the pregnancy, it’s believed this infant absorbed her twin siblings within the first couple of months of gestation. It’s also possible that the twins were absorbed much earlier by the surviving baby, developing inside of their sister for a brief time.
While some experts promote the likelihood that the baby absorbed her siblings, leading to the appearance of being pregnant, others think that cancer may be to blame for this situation. Teratoma, a kind of tumor, can develop in women of reproductive age. The tissue in the tumor would result in a growth that almost resembles a growing fetus.
In any case, it seems highly improbable that a newborn girl was born with a functioning reproductive system.
Dr. Jane Corteville is an OB/GYN at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. In her 30-year career, Corteville stated she’d only observed one other case of fetus-in-fetu that was similar to this one.
“I think we see these on occasion, and they’re bizarre, [but] they do give us a kind of some insight [i]nto what happens during early development.”
There are still many things that scientists don’t know about the pregnancy process, and so the door is often led open to fantastic (and rather ridiculous) stories about a pregnant mother or her baby. Some of them true, and others not so true.
Social media users around the world were successfully fooled last year by a satirical article posted by Empire News.
The article suggested that a pregnant woman was carrying a child that was itself pregnant. Not long after going viral, the story was eventually put to rest after it was determined to be completely fabricated.
[Image Credit: Jennifer Chong]