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South Africa: Mother and her unborn baby get pregnant at the same time

A pregnant woman in Malamulele, Limpopo was hospitalized this week with extreme stomach pains, and doctors were shocked at what they discovered.


Lesedi Chabane, who is 8 months pregnant, went to Malamulele Hospital in Limpopo Province when she thought she might be going into labor. Doctors examined her, and initially could not figure out what was causing Chabane’s pain. After an ultrasound to check on her baby, they were taken aback to find that her unborn daughter was also pregnant.

“I have never in my life seen anything like this.” Said Dr.Tshepo Mlingane, a pediatric surgeon at Malamulele Hospital). “I don’t think anyone has. This is the first time that an unborn baby has become impregnated. It’s so far beyond rare that we didn’t know it was possible.”

Up until now, the youngest person to ever become pregnant was Lina Medina, a Peruvian girl who was just under 6 years old when she gave birth. Doctors were shocked at Medina’s diagnosis at the time, but it was later discovered that she had entered into Precocious puberty, which is a rare disorder that causes puberty in extremely young children. It won’t be possible to test Chabane’s unborn daughter for Precocious puberty until she is born. Even if she is found to have the rare disorder, it will still make her the youngest person to ever become pregnant.

Chabane and her husband, Mike, are naturally very worried about the safety of their baby.

“Doctors told us it was safe to have sex while I was pregnant. Several of my girlfriends told me that they did, and there were no problems at all.” Said Lesedi. “We never thought this would happen. Mike is going to be a dad, and a grandpa all at once? I don’t – I mean, who can understand all this? I just worry that my baby won’t make it. Even if she does, I’m too young to be a grandmother.”

Chabeni’s doctors say, unbelievably, that both babies seem to be very healthy. When Lesedi gives birth to her baby next month, she will be about 6 months pregnant, and is looking at spending her first several months of life in the hospital as doctors determine how best to handle the situation.

“At this point, we don’t know whether Lesedi’s daughter will survive if she continues to sustain another life inside her.” Said Dr Mlingane. “All we know is that this is a very rare, very unusual case, and we are taking it day-by-day. So far, Lesedi and baby are doing fine.”
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