In a stunning medical anomaly, a baby with two heads, three arms, and two hearts has been born in Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh, India, leaving doctors astonished. Shaheen Khan and her husband Sohail were anticipating the arrival of two fully formed twins, but their expectations were shattered when Shaheen gave birth to the extraordinary baby on March 28. The unique and rare condition of the baby’s two heads and three arms has garnered significant attention and interest among medical professionals and the public alike.
The condition is known as dicephalic parapagus – where two infants are joined by one torso – and often results in a stillbirth.
But the miracle conjoined twins have so far survived and have been admitted to a hospital in the nearby city of Indore to be monitored by doctors.
Shaheen remains in the district hospital in Ratlam.
One of the doctors, Dr. Lahoti, said: ‘These kinds of cases are rare and the condition of babies remains uncertain, especially in the initial days.
‘Due to this, we have kept them under observation.
‘We have not planned for any surgery on the patient.’
Twins born with two heads, but sharing one body, are known as dicephalic parapagus – an extremely unusual form of conjoinment which is said to affect only one in a million births.
It comes after a 21-year-old woman delivered a baby with two heads and three arms in 2019, also in India.
Babita Ahirwar and her husband Jaswant Singh Ahirwar said they were shocked when she delivered the infant on November 23 of that year.
Mr Ahirwar said: ‘We are shocked. It is unbelievable.
‘Everyone is shocked to see them. We cannot believe our child has two heads.’
Mr and Mrs Ahirwar, from Basauda village in Vidisha district of Madhya Pradesh, a state in central India, were initially devastated.
The couple had married 18 months prior and were eagerly awaiting their first child.
According to local reports, they were told to expect conjoined twins around the 35th week of pregnancy.
But after a C-section they welcomed a ‘baby with two heads’.
Mrs Ahirwar told a local news agency: ‘It was a mixed feeling when the nurses handed over the baby to me.
‘Initially, I thought it was a twin, but when the nurses removed the towel, I was shocked to see our firstborn with two heads and three hands.
‘All we wanted was a normal and healthy baby, but the almighty wanted to punish us this way. I don’t know why.’
They later vowed to raise the baby the best that they could.
It came after two boys who were also born with the condition, again in India, in 2017, died just 24-hours after birth.
They had been immediately placed on a ventilator but doctors warned the parents that their chances of survival were ‘hopeless’.
The siamese twins, weighing 3.7kg (8.15Ib), shared a liver and a pair of limbs but had separate lungs and hearts.
Medics revealed that the mother and father begged them to save their children but they said ‘such kids do not survive’.
They also explained that had they lived, there would have been no possibility of separation surgery.
Dr Sanjay Bansode, head of the gynaecology department, said the twins were born in healthy condition but doctors knew they had no chance of survival.
‘The babies were a case of dicephalic parapagus or two-headed twins, which are often stillborn.
‘It is extremely rare and happens just one in a lakh [equal to one hundred thousand] and chances of dicephalic parapagus twins are of around 10 per cent of such births.
‘Their condition was very critical and they were put on ventilator support. However, a day after birth they died.’
Other experts have estimated this type of conjoined twin to be even rarer.
Medics said the couple, who were already parents to three daughters and a son, were shocked to find their newborn had two heads.
‘They were extremely poor and were nervous after the child’s birth,’ said Dr Sanjay Bansode.
‘The mother did not know she was carrying conjoined twins until the 32nd week of pregnancy.’
‘They asked us to do anything to save the babies but such kids do not survive.
‘There is no possibility of surgery either as they share most of their body parts and in this case had just one pair of limbs.’