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Posted: December 17, 2013

Doctors perform emergency C-section, find no baby


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CABO FRIO, Brazil —

Concerned that they were unable to detect a baby's heartbeat, doctors in Brazil performed an emergency C-section on the mother -- only to discover that she wasn't in fact pregnant.

According to the Brazilian news site Globo G1, stunned doctors at the Women's Hospital in Cabo Frio, Brazil, later determined that the woman they had presumed was 41 weeks pregnant was actually suffering from pseudocyesis, a false pregnancy. False pregnancy is the belief that you are expecting a baby when you are not actually pregnant. People with pseudocyesis have many, if not all of, the symptoms of pregnancy.

Doctors say the 37-year-old patient arrived at the hospital with what she said was proof of her prenatal care and was "showing" with a protruded belly and complaining of sharp pains.

When doctors examined the patient using a stethoscope to detect the baby's heartbeat, they heard nothing.

The attending physician determined there was no time to do an ultrasound and the woman was sent directly to the emergency room in an attempt to save the unborn child's life.

When the medical staff later spoke with the patient's husband he reportedly admitted that this was the second "pregnancy" in the past year.

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But he says his wife told him she lost that child at birth, she did not, however, show him a death certificate.

The woman was released from the hospital and advised to seek psychiatric care.

The hospital's director says this is actually the second time this year that a woman has turned out to not be pregnant despite insisting otherwise.

In the other instance, the woman faked an ultrasound result and used another patient's name to get treatment at the facility.

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