In an extremely bizarre case of "coffin birth," a stillborn baby popped out of a dead woman's body in a coffin in South Africa's southern Eastern Cape Province. The stillborn baby came out 10 days after the mother had died.
The incident came to light after the staff of a funeral parlour in the province noticed the stillborn between the dead woman's legs on the eve of her funeral.
The 33-year-old woman, identified as Nomveliso Nomasonto Mdoyi, complained of sudden breathlessness at home and died shortly after. The family gave her body to a firm of funeral directors before her final rites.
On the eve of her funeral, i.e. on the 10th day of her death, the staff of the funeral parlour noticed that a dead baby popped up between the legs of her body. This left the staff of the funeral parlour terrified.
"When we took the body from the mortuary tray to her coffin we discovered that there was a newly born baby between her legs," local media quoted the boss of the funeral directors for Lindokuhle Funeral Fundile Makalana as saying.
"The baby was dead. We were so shocked and frightened that we did not even have time to look at the sex of the baby. I have been in the business for more than 20 years and I have never heard of a dead woman giving birth."
While the staff was terrified, Nomveliso's grief-stricken mother was in shock after hearing the news of the stillborn popping out.
"We appeal to educated people, people who know better, to please cool us down and explain to us how it is possible for a dead woman to give birth. I am now over 70 years old and never heard of such a thing. Why is that happening to my child?" her mother told local media.
"First, I was devastated by the untimely death of my daughter and now I got the shock of my life to learn that she had given birth while she had been dead for 10 days. What is that? God please come and intervene?"
According to medical experts, the relaxation of muscles after death might have caused the unborn baby to pop out.
What is coffin birth?
Coffin birth is medically known as postmortem foetal extrusion, which means the ejection of an unborn child through the vaginal opening of a dead pregnant woman's body.