A Brazilian woman gave birth to a two-headed baby 1 a.m. Monday in Brazil, naming them Emanoel and Jesus in tribute to Christmas celebrations.
The two-headed male infant is actually a pair of conjoined twins sharing a single body. The condition is called dicephalic parapagus and it is one of the very rare forms of conjoined conditions.
The 25-year-old mother, Maria de Nazare, who gave birth by caesarean section, was told she was having twins. She was not aware of the twins’ condition until minutes before they were born because she had no prior ultrasounds.
The hospital's director, Claudionor Assis de Vasconcelos, told Brazilian newspaper O Povo that the woman decided to travel to the hospital from her rural state because she was feeling severe abdominal pain.
When doctors took ultrasounds and realized the baby had two heads, they decided to operate immediately and deliver the twins by c-section for their own safety.
Director 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.”
He added, “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.”
After a number of tests, doctors at the hospital in Anajas, Brazil's northern Para state, revealed that the baby has two brains and two spines while sharing one heart, lungs, liver and pelvis.
Mr. Vasconcelos added that at no point did the mother seem upset that her baby was born with two heads. He said, “On the contrary, the baby was received with much happiness by the family.”
This is the second time a baby was born with dicephalic parapagus in Brazil. A woman named Sueli Ferreira, 27, gave birth to a two-headed baby in Paraiba State, but the child died hours after when one head wasn't getting enough oxygen.