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Bizarre allegation: Baby stolen from womb

Did a young Brazilian woman suffer a ‘phantom pregnancy’ or was her baby daughter snatched during delivery?

By Charyn Pfeuffer - MSN Living Editor Feb 20, 2013 8:47PM

In a case straight out of a Lifetime movie, a 19-year-old Brazilian woman, Layane Santos, claims her baby daughter was stolen from her womb.

In her 38th week of pregnancy, Santos was at Santa Casea de Maua hospital in Sao Paulo for a routine check-up, but started to bleed and experience abdominal pain, so she underwent a C-section, reports The Stir.

Photo: Woman claims baby stolen from hospital / Image Source/Getty ImagesMore from MSN Living: How dogs make our lives better

Despite receiving prenatal care and an ultra-scan that showed a baby girl weighing 7 pounds, doctors at the Brazilian hospital where Santos was treated say the women was never actually pregnant. They claim the pregnancy had been purely psychological – a “phantom pregnancy” or “psychological pregnancy,” reports The Sun.

A psychological pregnancy can occur when a women has an overwhelming desire to have a child, said Sylvia Cavalcanti, from the Brazilian Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. 

"I can’t believe that a child who weighed 7 pounds could just disappear in blood. I think they stole the baby, or the baby died while she was being delivered, and they didn’t want to tell us what happened,” Santos told The Sun.

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According to Psychology Today, the condition known as pseudocyesis, causes the brain to trick the body into mimicking pregnancy symptoms like lactation and cessation in menstruation. Doctors believe it develops when a woman obsesses over pregnancy out of desire or fear; the disorder occurs in 1 to 6 of every 22,000 pregnancies.

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There are many unanswered questions surrounding Santos’ baby, but whatever happened, it’s a heart-breaking scenario. What do you think happened?

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Photo: Woman claims baby stolen from hospital / Image Source/Getty Images


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