Doctors performed an emergency C-section on a ‘heavily pregnant’ woman who was ‘in labor’- only to find that her womb was empty, it was reported on Tuesday.
The 37-year-old woman had been accompanied by midwives from Cabo Frio, south-east Brazil, since the beginning of her pregnancy and arrived at the hospital claiming sharp pains.
She reportedly arrived at the town’s women’s hospital with a large belly and proof of her pre-natal treatment, which showed she was 41 weeks’ pregnant.
When doctors were unable to detect the baby’s heartbeat, they rushed her to into the operating room for a caesarean, according to the hospital’s director, Rosalice Almeida.
She told Brazil’s Globo G1 website: ‘She’d done her whole pre-natal and was already overdue.
‘Because the doctors couldn’t pick up the heartbeat, they decided there wasn’t time to request an ultrasound.
‘They did the surgery then had the great shock of not finding any baby at all.’
The woman’s husband, 23, told doctor’s this was the second ‘pregnancy’ his wife had in a year.
Last year she claimed she got pregnant only to go the hospital and lose the child, but she never showed him a death certificate.
The case was registered as a phantom, or false pregnancy.
The rare condition occurs when a non-pregnant woman convinces herself she is pregnant, often even exhibiting all the classic symptoms of pregnancy.
She was released from the hospital and referred to psychiatric care.
This follows a case in December last year when another Brazilian woman accused a hospital of stealing her baby from her womb after she woke up for a C-section to be told her pregnancy had been ‘psychological’.
Layane Santos, 19, claimed she was in her 38th week of pregnancy when she was rushed to a maternity hospital in Sao Paulo, south east Brazil, with abdominal pain and blood loss.
She had received pre-natal treatment during her entire pregnancy, with nurses recording the growing size of her baby and even measuring the foetal heart beats.
According to Ultimo Segundo, Ms Santos, a kitchen assistant, even had an ultra-sound scans in the final week of her pregnancy, which showed she was carrying a baby girl who weighed 7lbs and measured 42cm.
She and her husband Lourival Alves, 28, had already named their daughter Sofia, and had moved to a larger house and had spent pounds £2,000 on clothes and furniture for their first child, according to Brazil’s Tribunal Hoje newspaper.
Read more: Daily Mail