The accusation is shocking and horrific if true. Layane Santos, 19, says she was 38 weeks pregnant when she was rushed to the hospital in December. She passed out at some point during what she says was a C-section, and her baby daughter, whom she'd already named Sofia, was gone before she ever saw her -- stolen right from her womb.
But doctors at Santa Casea de Maua, the Brazilian hospital where the woman was treated, say that's not the case. According to The Sun, they say Santos was never actually pregnant. Instead they say she was suffering from a "phantom pregnancy" or "psychological pregnancy."
Santos vehemently disagrees. She says she received prenatal care throughout her pregnancy, and nurses measured her baby and heard her heartbeat. A doctor, Uesley Lima, says she was involved in Santos' prenatal care and will be a witness, which definitely adds more questions.
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Santos told The Sun, "I can’t believe that a child who weighed 7lbs could just disappear in blood. I think they stole the baby, or the baby died while she was being delivered and they didn’t want to tell us what happened."
It does sound bizarre, but phantom pregnancies do happen. According to Psychology Today, the condition known as pseudocyesis, occurs in 1 to 6 of every 22,000 pregnancies. Doctors say it often happens when a woman "obsesses over pregnancy out of desire or fear." They may have many of the symptoms of pregnancy; some even begin lactating.
It's such a strange story, and heartbreaking no matter which way it turns out. I suppose there's the possibility that she was pregnant and her baby was stolen. But if that's the case, it should be quite easy to prove via medical records, which the hospital says it can do though hasn't yet. My guess is that she was likely never really pregnant and it was as doctors say, really a psychological condition -- as hard as it may be for Santos to accept. Either way, however, I hope she gets the answers and help she needs.
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