Woman Convinces Herself, Everyone Else She Was Pregnant With Quintuplets
By CNN Newsource
Photo of Paul Servat and Barbara Bienvenue
A Canadian woman convinces her boyfriend...and even herself...that she's pregnant with quintuplets. Oddly enough, her body responded as if she actually was pregnant. Vanessa Lee explains how this so-called phantom pregnancy is even possible.
It was supposed to be a happy and exciting time for a Quebec couple, who were expecting not just their first baby...but five!
Their pending arrival was big news in the small community of Saint Jean Sur Richelieu, south of Montreal. Donations poured in to help the growing family with friends, strangers, and businesses showering them with gifts.
Genevieve Laflamme, who has triplets, befriended the mother-to-be, 37-year-old Barbara Bienvenue, a couple of months ago. "I gave her tips on where to get financial support, and places that can help with things like diapers" she says.
Then came Tuesday. The couple went to the hospital, where doctors delivered devastating news. They told the expectant father, Paul Servat, his girlfriend was never actually pregnant...duping not just him...but an entire city.
"She walked like she was pregnant, she seemed to have contractions. I never doubted it," Laflamme says.
So, how was this woman able to fool everyone...perhaps even herself? Doctors say if this is a phantom pregnancy and it's rare. The ... it's rare. It is a condition called
"There is a process whereby you can convince your body that you're pregnant and you can see people having some distention and you can also see some people starting to have lactation," says obstetrician Dr. Haim Abenhaim.
As the woman receives psychiatric care...her heartbroken boyfriend is returning all of the presents for the babies he couldn't wait to meet.