A 32-weeks pregnant woman went to the doctor with a tummyache, only to find out her baby wasn’t growing in her womb after all – but in her abdominal cavity.
She’d had two antenatal checkups and an ultrasound as her pregnancy progressed but, until her puzzled doctor referred her to hospital for another scan, her extremely rare type of ectopic pregnancy had been missed.
The woman, from Tanzania, was quickly operated on and her baby girl was born, weighing 3lbs 7oz and completely healthy – despite the fact that, throughout the pregnancy, she’d developed without an amniotic sac.
Abdominal pregnancies are very rare: according to LiveScience, they occur in about 1 out of every 10,000 pregnancies. Mostly, it happens when the embryo first implants in one your Fallopian tubes instead of your uterus (as it does in a ‘classic’ ectopic pregnancy), but then moves and re-implants in your abdomen.
“I’ve seen maybe 4 or 5 abdominal pregnancies over the course of 25 years,” says Dr Jill Rabin, chief of ambulatory care, obstetrics and gynecology at a hospital in New York, who wasn’t involved with this particular case. “Many times, these pregnancies are not diagnosed until labour.
“The woman is going through labour, the cervix is dilated and you are wondering, ‘Why is the patient having contractions and nothing is happening?’”
Thankfully, in this case, the condition was picked up just in time, and mother and baby have now been discharged from hospital and are said to be doing just fine.
MadeForMums Writer – Jessica Gibb