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Indian Woman Baffles Doctors By Giving Natural Birth to Twins Conjoined at the Stomach

Update Date: May 09, 2013 12:59 PM EDT
conjoined twins, India
25-year-old Shalu Pawar is seen sleeping next to her conjoined newborn twins. (Photo : Rex Features)

A 25-year-old Indian woman has shocked medical experts by giving birth to conjoined twins naturally.

Instead of seeking needed medical assistance, on Monday Shalu Pawar managed to deliver the Siamese twins at her Panvel, Raigad District home.

The newborn girls are connected just below the torso, the Daily Mail reports.

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Normally, conjoined twins are delivered by cesarean and by a medical team on standby to help care for them.  But because Arun Pawar, the father of the conjoined girls, earns very little money as a driver, he could not afford to take his pregnant wife to the hospital to give birth to the twins.

The couple says they will also be unable to pay for the operation needed to separate the twins.

Siamese twins or conjoined twins are a rare phenomenon that is believed to occur only once in every 50,000 births. Most conjoined twins are stillborn or die shortly after birth, and only 1 percent survive beyond the first year.

Conjoined twins develop when an early embryo partially separates to form two individuals, and because they developed from a single fertilized egg, they are always identical and of the same sex. While two fetuses will end up developing, they will remain physically connected, most often at the chest, pelvis or buttocks.  Many conjoined twins also share one or more internal organs.

Scientists still do not know why the embryo does not complete the process of separating into identical twins, and why females are more likely than males to be conjoined.

Medical records over the past five centuries have shown that only around 600 sets of conjoined twins have survived past infancy.

According to the Daily Bhaskar, the twins' father had initially tried to perform black magic to sacrifice his newborn girls. However, a neighbor had called authorities to rescue the girls before their father went through with his plan.

The girls were later admitted to Wadia Hospital in Parel.  According to the Daily Bhaskar, the girls are now in stable condition.

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