'fetus in fetu' condition wherein babies are born pregnant
Computed Tomography scan of the patient, suffering with the 'fetus in fetu', abdomen reveals a large retro peritoneal soft-tissue mass.Wikimiedia Commons/ Nisreen M Khalifa

A baby girl born to Chinese parents had a pair of "twins" growing inside her. Initially believed to be tumours, the growth, doctors later confirmed, were in fact twin foetuses that occur due to a rare condition called 'fetus in fetu'.

The baby born at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kowloon, Hong Kong, had foetuses with 8 to 10 weeks of gestation, reports abc news. Each of the foetuses growing inside the nearly 9-pound baby girl had four limbs, a spine, rib cage, intestines, anus and an umbilical cord connected to a single placenta-like mass.

It is understood that the fertilised eggs were absorbed into the baby's body as it grew and lodged between her liver and left kidney. Barely three weeks old, the baby had to undergo a surgery to remove the "babies" inside her.

The rare condition, which occurs only once in every 500,000 births, is called 'fetus in fetu'. Only less than 200 babies have been reported of having such a condition, the reason for which remains unknown.

World Health Organisation classifies 'fetus in fetu' as a variant of mature teratoma, a type of cancer.

A similar case was reported by IB Times India in 2013, when a team of Chinese surgeons had successfully operated on a two-year-old boy, Xiao Feng, who was 'pregnant'. In the case of Xiao, though, the foetus inside his belly was that of his parasitic twin.