Bizarre! Karnataka woman gives birth to a baby with four legs and two male organs
"It is God's gift to us," said Lalitamma, who became a second-time mother with this baby
You may call it a miracle or a freak of nature, but this Karnataka baby’s birth has taken many by surprise. Delivered at the Dhadeasugure Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Raichur, Ballari, on Saturday, the baby reportedly has four legs and two male sex organs.
The baby’s parents Lalitamma, 23, and Chennabasava, 26, are residents of Raichur, and soon after the natural birth, their newborn was placed in the neonatal care unit of Vijayanagara Institute of Medical Sciences (VIMS), in Ballari.
“It’s God’s gift to us”
Not surprisingly, the parents showed did not show an inclination to take the baby to the neonatal unit for further investigation. “It is God’s gift to us. My first son, born three years ago, is healthy. We are poor and cannot afford expensive treatment,” Lalitamma is said to have told the doctors.
She only agreed when the doctors counselled her.
“The doctors and members of my family advised me to take the baby to VIMS for advanced treatment. Now, I am hoping he becomes normal,” she told the daily.
An expert from VIMS who was handling this baby’s case reportedly said that it was a challenging situation for them. “A team of surgeons is looking into the baby’s condition. It is a very challenging case for us,” said Dr Divakar Gaddi.
Although the baby is healthy, his physical condition has put the doctors in a fix. However, this case has also highlighted the importance of genetic testing during and before pregnancy.
Why couples need genetic testing before pregnancy
“For couples looking to start a family, it is advisable to meet a genetic testing counselor, who will examine your personal and family’s medical history in detail, and take into account a number of factors such as your age, and previous failed pregnancies (if any). The counselor will then advise you on the need (or not) of undergoing genetic testing,” explains Zoya Brar, Founder and Managing Director of CORE Diagnostics, Delhi.
She charts out the process of the testing:
- A certified counselor would first review your family and medical history, and create a pedigree chart.
- He/she would give you information about your genetic conditions, how it may be transmitted to your family, and then evaluate if your family members and you were at risk for disease.
- Once the results have been obtained, a geneticist would assess your state of mind, and guide you in making informed decisions vis-a-vis your treatment or lifestyle choices.
- He/she would then help you understand the diagnosis and explore further testing options.
- The counselor would also help you to find referrals for medical specialists, and support groups for emotional sustenance.
Brar says, “Today, most couples are advised to undergo genetic testing before conceiving as this minimizes the risk of serious conditions afflicting the child. Unfortunately in our country, the concept of pre-conception medical counseling is yet to become a norm and most couples rush to a doctor only after discovering a pregnancy.”
People who should most certainly undertake this testing
- Couples having a family history of a genetic condition or disorder
- Couples who have suffered from repeated miscarriages or failed pregnancies
- Couples who have had a previous child with birth defects
- Women who are past 35 years of age when planning a pregnancy
“While a test cannot give you a foolproof answer on whether your child will have a genetic disorder or not, it does indicate the risk of the baby acquiring a serious genetically caused disease, thus helping you make informed decisions about your life,” she advises.
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