One Woman, Two Uteruses, Two Babies
The Barbosa family of Clearwater, Florida, is celebrating the birth of fraternal boy/girl twins, born September 15. The two babies join mom, dad and a two-year-old big sister to make one big, happy busy family of five!
While multiple births are relatively commonplace, occurring in approximately one in every 30 births in America, the way mom Andreea Barbosa carried her twins is unique. They each got their own uterus to develop in. Now, if only Barbosa could double her arms and legs for the busy months and years ahead taking care of the twins! (This reporter, mother of four-year-old identical twins, speaks from experience, having spent 16+ hours a day nursing for the first several months.)
All fraternal twins are born to one mother with two separate fertilized eggs. Each egg implants itself in the uterus and gets nutrition from its own placenta. What makes Barbosa's twins stand out is that after the eggs were fertilized, they made their way to implantation in two separate uteruses.
Barbosa has a condition called uterus didelphys, which happens when a female fetus' two uterine tubes do not fuse during development in utero. Rather than connecting to create one large uterus, the infant is born with two independent uteruses.
According to wikipedia, citing an article by Medscape, approximately 0.1-0.5% of women in the United States are born with this condition, which generally goes undetected at birth. Although the condition is not dangerous for the women it affects, it rarely translates to birth of twins developing in separate uteruses.
Barbosa is the second woman reported this year to have given birth to multiples with uterus didelphys. The other was an Indian woman named Rinku Devi who gave birth to twins on July 29 in India.Continued on the next page