In a rare case, a woman gave birth to a baby with two heads and three hands at a private nursing home in India. Doctors said it was a rare case and the baby was actually conjoined twins sharing a single body.

"The newborn is eating with two mouths and breathing with two noses and is actually conjoined twin sisters who share a single body, three arms and two legs," Dr. Debashis Sahoo, a pediatrician, told Odisha TV.

The baby was born in the eastern state of Odisha on Sunday. Soon after birth, the child's condition deteriorated and was moved to a different hospital. Doctors later said the baby was eating and was "physically fit."

"The baby was delivered by cesarean section at a private hospital and later shifted to Kendrapara district headquarters hospital. She is physically fit now, but we have shifted her to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Post Graduate Institute of Paediatrics (Sishu Bhawan), Cuttack, for specialized treatment," the doctor added.

Sahoo said the twins are joined at chest and abdomen, adding that "the present case is one of the varieties of the congenital anomaly."

Local media said the parents of the twins were poor and were unable to afford the treatment costs. They were seeking help from the local government to perform a separation surgery for the twins.

"We can hardly manage a square meal every day. The treatment of our newborn is an impossible affair for us. We request the Government to help us," Umakant, the father of the child, told local outlet Ommcom News.

Doctors looking into the case said they are "referring the conjoined twins to the Sishu Bhawan in Cuttack. Like Jaga-Kalia conjoined twins, the present case is one of the varieties of the congenital anomaly."

In 2017, doctors in Odisha conducted surgery to separate conjoined twins Jaga and Kalia who were fused at the head since their birth in 2015. The team performed the surgery for 45 hours in phases from August to October 2017. The procedure was the first of its kind performed in India. The two kids were discharged from the hospital in 2019 but remained under treatment. Last year, Kalia died due to some health complications.

According to the Mayo Clinic, conjoined twins are born when the embryo fails to fully separate to form two individuals. In most cases, the twins are connected at the chest, pelvis or abdomen. However, in some cases, they may share one or more internal organs as well.

Conjoined twins form when an embryo only partially separates into two and the babies develop connected to each other by the abdomen, chest, pelvis, spine or head. Public domain