An expectant mother from Tianping City, China’s Hunan province, may have set a new world record for the longest pregnancy. She claims that she was supposed to deliver her baby in November of last year, but eight months past her due date she was was still pregnant because her placenta was underdeveloped. The woman finally gave birth in her 18th of August.
Local media reports that Wang Shi became pregnant in February 2015, but when she turned up at the hospital nine months later hoping to have the baby delivered, doctors informed her that she was not ready to give birth due to an underdeveloped placenta, also known as placenta previa. Worried about the condition, Wang and her husband went to the hospital every 7 to 10 days after her due date passed for check-ups. By her 14th month of pregnancy, the woman was more than ready to welcome her baby into the world, but doctors once again told her that she needed to wait because the fetus was not developed enough for a C-section operation.
“I feel ashamed of being pregnant for so long. I hope I can successfully and safely deliver my baby next month,” Wang recently told reporters. “It has cost us more than 10,000 yuan ($1,500) just for the check-ups alone, and we’ve now lost our patience.” Because of her prolonged pregnancy she had gained around 26 kilograms, going from 52.2 kg to 78 kg, but she was otherwise in good physical condition.
According to People’s Daily, the longest documented pregnancy is that of an American woman named Beulah Hunter who gave birth in 1945 after being pregnant for 375 days, but when news of Wang Shi’s pregnancy broke out, she had already been with child for 517 days. That would make her the new Guinness record holder, only her claims have been contested by a number of physicians.
“We asked her to undergo an ultrasound but she was unwilling. She only said she hadn’t menstruated since 2015, and we never saw her exam results,” an official from Wang’s home town told Global Times, adding that she only applied for her government-issued certificate allowing her to have the child a month before her due date. The document states that she was suppoised to deliver the baby in 2015.
A physician from Changsha told the Changsha Evening News that “there’s no evidence, medical or otherwise, that suggests she has been pregnant for 17 months. She has no records of exams from early in her pregnancy…we’re taking her word for it.”
CCTV News reports that Wang Shi finally gave birth to her baby on August 18th, with the healthy newborn weighing 3.8 kg.
Placenta previa is a condition that reportedly occurs once in every 200 pregnancies and which is categorized in four grades from minor to major. It causes the cervix o be partially or completely covered.