Mother gives birth naturally to twins conjoined at the stomach
May 9, 2013, 12:00 GMT
Exhausted: Shalu Pawar sleeps next to her newborn conjoined twins
An Indian woman has astounded the medial profession by giving birth to conjoined twins naturally.
Shalu Pawar managed to deliver the twins at home in Panvel, Raigad District, rather than seeking medical assistance at hospital.
The twins who are only a few days old are joined by the bottom half of their torso.
Shalu's husband Arun earns very little money as a driver and the couple could not afford to go to hospital.
Normally Siamese twins are delivered by caesarian and a specialist medical team are on stand-by to help care for them.
They say they will also be unable to afford the operation needed to separate the twins.
Just one set of twins in every 40,000 is born connected in some way to each other and only 1 per cent of those survive beyond the first year.
They develop from a single fertilized egg and are therefore always identical and of the same sex.
It is unknown why the embryo does not complete the process of separating into identical twins.
Records over the past 500 years have shown around 600 sets of conjoined twins survived infancy
For reasons which are unknown females are more likely to conjoined.
Despite medical advancements, surgical separation is still very rare today.
Last month conjoined twins who are joined at the head won a Supreme Court battle in India to receive funding for medical treatment.
Saba and Farah Shakeel, 17, will receive monthly financial assistance and health monitoring from Bihar state in Eastern India.
The twins share blood vessels to the brain and only one has kidneys.
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