It was reported today that a Brazilian woman has given birth to a baby with two heads.
The 25-year-old mother, who lives in a rural area of the state, didn’t have an ultra-sound during her pregnancy so she was unaware of the baby’s condition until minutes before his arrival on Monday morning.
The boy was born by caesarean at a hospital in Anajas, in Brazil’s northern Para state, weighing 9.9lbs.
Scans taken show that they are conjoined twins, who suffer from a condition known as dicephalic parapagus, where the babies share a single body, two arms and two legs. This pair also only has one heart and all their vital organs function are normal.
The birth of dicephalic parapagus (dibrachius )conjoined twins is extremely rare and only occurs in a very small percentage of babies born conjoined. Of the babies born with this lateral union only 10% arrive with 2 arms. Eighty percent are born with 4 arms(tetrabrachius), while the remaining 10% have 3(tribrachius).
Doctors say that the newborn is in perfect health and both heads have started nursing normally.
The hospital’s director, Claudionor Assis de Vasconcelos, told Brazil’s O Povo newspaper that the woman decided to travel to the hospital because she was feeling strong abdominal pains.
‘When doctors scanned her they realised that the baby had two heads and that a normal birth would be a great risk both for mother and baby. The caesarean took an hour because the baby was sitting down.
‘Despite all the problems we have as a small interior hospital we managed to save both mother and baby, which was our aim. And for us it was a great surprise to find out that the child was in really good health.’
Mr Vasconcelos added that the mother, who has three other children, is not distraught about the baby’s condition.
‘On the contrary, the baby was received with much happiness by the family.
‘The mother fed both mouths and the baby stayed with her in her room the whole time. Her desire was to take her baby straight home.’
Instead they were taken by air ambulance yesterday afternoon to a specialist hospital in the state capital, Belem, so they baby could be further examined. Both mom and baby are expected to be allowed home later this week.
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I know that there is only one body, but with two heads shouldn’t this article say “babies?” Two separate brains, two separate personalities.
@Alyssa – my thoughts exactly! Just sensationalist journalism to refer to these children as a ‘two-headed baby’.
Exactly my thoughts, Alyssa. Articles that refer to conjoined twins as a single baby really annoy me. In this day and age, most people understand these are conjoined twins, not a “two-headed baby”. Or they would, if authors took greater care in their writing. The references to “both heads” and “both mouths” is not only annoying, it’s ignorant. It objectifies the babies rather than recognizing them as human beings. The mother took her *babies* home, not her “two-headed baby”!