Baby Born With Her Twin's Embryo Inside Stomach

Once the baby was born, tests were done to confirm she was a case of "fetus in fetu," a phenomenon that occurs in about one in 500,000 births.


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Doctors are baffled by a baby who was born with a twin inside her stomach. 

According to Live Science, the rare phenomenon is known as “fetus in fetu” that occurs in about 1 in 500,000 births. Fetus in fetu is when the baby’s twin starts to develop inside the baby’s abdomen. Doctors in Israel noticed this happening to a child during a late-pregnancy ultrasound on the baby’s mother and saw the baby’s stomach was enlarged. 

“We were surprised to discover that it was an embryo,” neonatology expert Omer Globus told the Times of Israel.

Once the baby was born, tests were done to confirm this was indeed a case of fetus in fetu. The x-ray showed that the second baby was a partially developed embryo with some bones. It’s unclear how this happened, but scientists believe the second baby is a form of a “parasitic twin,” where a fetus is absorbed by another during an identical-twin pregnancy.

“It happens as part of the fetal development process when there are cavities that close during development and one of the embryos enters such a space,” Globus said. “The fetus inside partially develops but does not live and remains there.”

Fortunately for the parents, doctors were able to successfully remove the embryo, and the newborn girl is expected to make a full recovery. 

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