It has been a quarter century since the term ‘coffin birth’ or ‘sarg geburt ’ appeared in the medical literature. This old phrase was used to describe an unusual grim parody of one of life’s greatest moments. It happens when a pregnant woman spontaneously delivers her child after her own death. The gas that builds up in her decomposing body can build up enough pressure to propel the baby through the birth canal. This odd occurrence has taken place throughout history, albeit rarely. Scientists have even found paleopathologic evidence of a case of coffin birth in Europe of the dim past, before recorded history. Today, modern embalming customs have made coffin birth so rare as to no longer be described in typical medical textbooks.
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