Headless 'monster baby'
Woman endures horrific rare parasitic twin birth.
By Scott Dunlop
A first-time mom in Mumbai, India has given birth to one healthy baby and one shockingly malformed stillborn foetus, which was delivered without a head or neck. According to the Times of India this occurrence is termed an ‘Acardiac monster baby’ in medical terms, or a parasitic twin.
The horrified mother had reportedly refused to terminate the malformed foetus after the diagnosis* of the condition during the 5th month of pregnancy as she didn’t want to harm the healthy twin.
The condition, caused by chromosomal abnormalities is not often detected until after the 5th month, and it occurs in approximately one in 40 000 live births:
“Acardia is a rare malformation that occurs mainly in monizygous twins who develop from a single egg. The condition is characterised by the absence of a functioning heart. Doctors said the acardia twin survives like a parasite, drawing blood and nutrition from the normal twin. As Thursday's twin didn't have a head or brain as well, the case is being called as acardius acephalus baby.” (Times, India)
*In SA there have been several cases recently of babies being born with severe malformations, to the extent that the babies were either stillborn or incapable of living for longer than a few hours. This has, in part, been attributed to the possibility that pregnant women are not undergoing any kind of medical professional observation during pregnancy, including access to scans which would reveal abnormalities.
How soon did you see a medical professional after suspecting you were pregnant?