First baby born on remote Brazilian island in 12 years - to mother who had no idea she was pregnant

'I was dumbstruck, I did not know I was pregnant,' mother says

Fernando de Noronha sits more than 200 miles from the Brazilian mainland in the Atlantic Ocean
Fernando de Noronha sits more than 200 miles from the Brazilian mainland in the Atlantic Ocean

A woman became the first new mother in 12 years on a remote Brazilian island where childbirth is normally forbidden.

The 22-year-old said she was “dumbstruck” after she went into unexpected labour on Fernando de Noronha, some 220 miles off the coast of the South American country's mainland

Childbirth is not normally permitted on the tiny island chain. Authorities say its hospitals are not equipped to deliver babies safely.

However, the unforeseen nature of the pregnancy meant the mother, who officials have not named, was unable to travel to the mainland before going into labour.

“I took pregnancy tests and they were negative. I did not feel anything during the entire pregnancy,” she told the O Globo newspaper. “On Friday night I had pains and when I went to the bathroom I saw something coming down between my legs.

“That's when the child's father came and picked it up. It was a baby, a girl. I was dumbstruck, I did not know I was pregnant.”

In a statement, the island’s administration confirmed the woman had given birth to the child at her home.

It said the infant had since been transferred to a hospital to receive further care.

“The family says they were not aware of pregnancy and there are no records of prenatal care or any other similar services being given to them at clinics,” the administration said in a statement.

Fernando de Noronha, which has been inhabited since it was discovered by Portuguese explorers more than 500 years ago, is home to less than 3,000 people.

The islands were declared a Unesco world heritage site in 2001, due to its large population of spinner dolphins and protections for various endangered species of turtle and seabirds.

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