Dead medieval woman must have given birth to a baby while inside coffin

  • Italian archaeologists discovered remains of adult with bones of fetus between its legs
  • Further research revealed the baby was expelled from body after she was buried

Italian archaeologists have uncovered a Medieval grave containing the remains of a woman buried with a fetus lying between her thighs, reports said Monday.

The fetus, now just a collection of tiny bones trailing below the mother’s skeletal pelvis, was likely delivered in the grave through a phenomenon called “coffin birth”.

Coffin birth, also known as postmortem fetal extrusion, is the expulsion of a nonviable fetus of the decomposing body of a deceased pregnant woman as a result of the increasing pressure of intra-abdominal gases.

Researchers said, in this case, the fetus had already died when the mother was buried.

According to reports by IB Times, the team from the Universities of Ferrara and Bologna said that the child’s leg bones possibly never made it out of the pelvic cavity; however, the upper torso and head likely did, meaning “the fetus was likely partially delivered.”

The buried mother is believed to be around between 25-35 years old when she died and was buried. The fetus was 38-weeks-old as per development.