If you're pregnant and, uh, already going a little crazy with worry about your impending childbirth, you may want to skip this piece of news we spotted on Live Science. But if you clap your hands and squeal at delight at horror movies, then, this is probably for you.
The science news site recently tweeted a photo that shows a rare case of an unborn baby's feet OUTSIDE his mom's uterus. And, no, the baby didn't kick his mommy although it sure looked like it. In its report, Live Science said the mom-to-be "developed a tear in the wall of her uterus, and through the tear, part of the amniotic sac popped out."
You can see the photo below. The white oval shape you see is the amniotic sac that contains the legs.
The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published the image first, reporting that the 33-year-old woman amazingly did not feel any pain nor did she feel anything was amiss with her pregnancy. She only learned of the tear after a routine ultrasound when she was 22 weeks along.
This was the mom's sixth child. According to NEJM, all of her five previous pregnancies were cesarean sections, and these could have weakened her uterine wall and increased her risk of a tear. The lead author of the report, Dr. Pierre-Emmanuel Bouet, an OB-GYN at the Angers University Hospital in France, said the tear did not happen at the location of the earlier C-sections, but "it was close by."
"The area of the uterus that had scarred after the C-sections were strong, but the regions around this scar were fragile, Dr. Bouet told Live Science. "The forces and pressures on the uterus that occur during pregnancy ultimately led to the tear."
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The mom refused to terminate the pregnancy even with the risks the tear posed like uterine rupture, placenta accreta (the placenta attaches too deeply into the uterine wall), hysterectomy, and preterm birth. But she was not the placed on bed rest either and even did the moderate walking.
When the mom returned for an ultrasound at 30 weeks, the tear's size doubled, becoming 2 inches in size, and the amniotic sac now contained the baby's abdomen as well. A C-section was ordered to deliver the baby, a boy who weighed 3 lbs. After the delivery, Dr. Bouet noted in his report that the doctors repaired her uterus and had no post-operative complications. She as discharged from the hospital five days later, and at 6 months of age, the baby was alive and well.