Maria de Nazare from Brazil has given birth to a baby with two heads, as she had initially expected twins.
Maria de Nazare, 25, gave birth by caesarean at a hospital in Anajas, in Brazil’s northern Para state, with her newborn weighing 9.9 lbs.
In a tribute to the religious celebrations at Christmas, Maria de Nazare has decided to call the pair Emanoel and Jesus.
Following the birth of her baby, Maria de Nazare admitted that she had been told she was set to welcome twins.
But following a number of tests, doctors have revealed that the baby has two brains and two spines but shares one heart, lungs, liver and pelvis.
The hospital’s director, Claudionor Assis de Vasconcelos, told Brazil’s O Povo newspaper that the woman decided to travel to the hospital because she was feeling strong abdominal pains.
The mother, who lives in a rural area of the state, had no ultra-sound scans during her pregnancy and only found out about the abnormality minutes before the baby was born at 1:00 a.m. on Monday morning.
Claudionor Assis de Vasconcelos said: “When doctors scanned her they realized that the baby had two heads and that a normal birth would be a great risk both for mother and baby. The caesarean took an hour because the baby was sitting down.
“Despite all the problems we have as a small interior hospital we managed to save both mother and baby, which was our aim. And for us it was a great surprise to find out that the child was in really good health.”
Neila Dahas, director of the Santa Casa hospital said: “If both their brains are functioning, how are we going to choose which head to remove?
“We are not considering the possibility of surgery. What we’ve got to think about at this moment is to maintain the children in good condition and see how they will develop.”
Claudionor Assis de Vasconcelos added that at no point did the mother, who has three other children, appear distraught that her son has two heads.
He said: “On the contrary, the baby was received with much happiness by the family.
“The mother fed both mouths and the baby stayed with her in her room the whole time. Her desire was to take her baby straight home.”
The mother and baby were taken by air ambulance yesterday afternoon to a specialist hospital in the state capital, Belem, to carry out further tests. They are expected to be allowed home later this week.
Remarkably, this is the second time a two-headed baby has been born in Brazil this year. Sueli Ferreira, 27, gave birth to a two-headed baby in Paraiba State, but it died a few hours later because of lack of oxygen to one of the child’s heads.