Photo: Was It a 'Phantom Pregnancy' or Did the Hospital Steal Brazilian Woman's Child?
A woman in Brazil is claiming that despite what doctors are saying, she gave to birth to a child that was stolen by hospital staff.
When 19-year-old Layane Santos was in her 38th month of pregnancy, she had to be rushed to a maternity hospital in Sao Paulo after experiencing blood loss and abdominal pain. After arriving at the hospital, an obstetrician diagnosed Santos premature separation of the placenta was order that she be rushed to the operating room for an emergency c-section. Santos asked that her husband, 28-year-old Lourival Alves be brought in, but he was never called.
When Alves was finally brought into the room, doctors told him that when they opened his wife’s womb they found no baby. They told him Santos’ pregnancy has been what is called a “phantom pregnancy,” also known as a “psychological pregnancy.” Such “pregnancies” occur when a woman wants a child so badly that her body actually begins to transform as though it is preparing for, and creating a child. In these cases, however, there is no baby, only changes in hormones and body.
When Santos awoke from the anesthesia she had been given, her husband told her what the doctors had told him - there was no baby.
Santos says she was devastated and confused. She was understandably confused because throughout her pregnancy she received pre-natal treatment, with nurses even recording the size of the fetus’ body and head. In fact, in the final week of her pregnancy, she had an ultra-sound which showed the baby they had already named Sofia was about 42 cm and weighed an estimated 7 lbs.
However, on December 26, the couple was told there had never been a baby.
Now, Santos is trying to figure out what happened, and says she believes the child baby was either stolen or died while being delivered and doctors don’t want to say what really happened.
Adding to the doctors claims were staff at Santa Casa de Maua hospital saying exams performed before the delivery showed that Santos was not carrying a child. However, they claim they “reserved the right to only present these exams at the opportune moment.”
The case may now head to court, as the couple’s lawyer has asked a judge to seize al hospital records relating to Santos’ case. The doctor who provided Santos’ pre-natal treatment has also said she will be a witness for the couple, should a criminal case be brought against the hospital.
While many questions remain, one important question yet to be answered is, if the hospital knew Santos’ was experiencing a “phantom pregnancy” why would they subject her to an unnecessary c-section?