Emergency C-Section Turns Up ... No Baby

Brazilian woman suffered from false pregnancy, referred to psychiatric care

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 20, 2013 8:15 AM CST | Updated Dec 22, 2013 11:40 AM CST
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(Newser) – A bizarre story out of Brazil, where doctors performed an emergency C-section on an apparently expectant mother only to find ... no baby at all. When the woman, 37, arrived at Cabo Frio's Woman's Hospital saying she was 41 weeks pregnant and in pain—with a protruding belly and some kind of proof of prenatal care—doctors assumed she was in labor, officials revealed this week. "Because the doctors couldn't pick up the [baby's] heartbeat, they decided there wasn't time to request an ultrasound," the site's director told the Daily Mail. "They did the surgery then had the great shock of not finding any baby at all."

It turns out the woman was suffering from a false pregnancy (known as pseudocyesis) and "was so convinced she was pregnant that she altered her prenatal tests that showed otherwise because she was convinced the results were wrong," a city Health Department rep said per CBS News. And her husband says it wasn't the first time. Last year, she said she'd lost a baby at the hospital, but never showed him a death certificate. She's now been referred to psychiatric care. Oddly enough, the Dayton Daily News reports a similar case popped up at the same hospital earlier this year; a woman faked an ultrasound to get treatment despite not being pregnant, the site's director said. (More bizarre pregnancy news: A recent study found 1 in 200 women say they've had a "virgin pregnancy.")

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