A Polish woman has given birth after what could be the world's longest labour, according to Reuters. Joanna Krzysztonek, of Wroclaw, Poland, was pregnant with triplets, when one of the fetuses was born prematurely and died in Krzysztonek's fifth month of pregnancy. For the sake of the other two babies, doctors advised Krzysztonek to lie in bed with her feet above her head for the remainder of the gestation period.
“I sighed with relief that there was a chance to keep the pregnancy and to give the babies a chance to be born successfully,” she told Reuters.
Twins Iga and Ignacy were then born at 32 weeks into the pregnancy, on February 15, and doctors say they consider Krzysztonek to have been in labour since the birth of the first baby. The babies are currently in incubators, but it's expected they will be leaving the hospital soon.
This isn't the first time a mother has gone through such a procedure in order to save her baby. Last year, Donna Kelly spent three months lying with her feet above her head in a hospital bed before her daughter, Amelia, was born.
At that time, Professor Siobhan Quenby, a leading expert on recurrent miscarriages, advised that gravity could reduce the pressure on Mrs. Kelly’s cervix and recommended that she spend 24 hours a day on a hospital bed tilted upwards to elevate her feet above her head.
For Krzysztonek, the time spent upside down apparently affected her balance slightly, but she is now able to walk without any issues.