A fetus with the feet out of the womb, an extremely rare phenomenon

The image can be impressive and shows an extremely rare phenomenon during pregnancy. We clearly see a fetus whose legs are located outside the uterus of the mother who was experiencing her sixth childbirth.

To observe this image, one would think that the future baby went a little too hard on the kicks. But mothers-to-be can be reassured, it has nothing to do with kicking, it is actually an extremely rare condition. This 33-year-old woman had developed a small 2.5 cm tear in the wall of the uterus, through which part of the amniotic sac (19 x 12 x 9 cm) came out.

The woman did not feel anything at the time and it was a routine ultrasound performed at 22 weeks of pregnancy which revealed this phenomenon according to the report published in the New England Journal of Medicine. It was the first time that Dr. Pierre-Emmanuel Bouet, obstetrician-gynecologist at the University Hospital of Angers and main author of the report, had seen a case like this. A case  » extremely rare reported only 26 times in the scientific literature.

This was the woman’s sixth pregnancy, the previous five having ended in a caesarean section. It was these five caesarean sections that visibly increased the risk of tearing the uterine wall according to Dr. Bouet.  » It seems that these caesareans had weakened the lining of the uterus. The tear is not at the exact location of previous caesarean sections, but near “, he explains to Live Science. Indeed, the area of ​​the uterus that had healed after these caesarean sections was strong and resistant, but the regions around this area were fragile. The forces and pressures on the uterus that occur during pregnancy ultimately resulted in the tearing.

Credits: The New England Journal of Medicine

When they discovered this, the doctors alerted the woman and her husband to the possible risks like further tearing of the uterus, premature delivery or even a serious pregnancy complication called placenta accreta in which the placenta does not does not detach from the uterine wall after birth. It was also possible that the amniotic sac ruptured. If that had been the case, the doctors would have had to take steps to keep the child’s heart beating and deliver him prematurely.

The woman and her husband then decided to continue the pregnancy under close supervision. At 30 weeks, the tear had doubled in size (5 cm) and the part of the amniotic sac located outside had also increased. At that time, this part of the amniotic sac contained the baby’s legs, but also its abdomen.

The baby was finally delivered by Caesarean section in September 2015 and weighed 1,385 kilograms at birth. After giving birth, doctors repaired the woman’s uterus and she was able to return home after five days of hospitalization. Both baby and mother are doing great today.

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