A baby is born with four arms and four legs


  • In January, another baby was born with several additional members in India.
  • This malformation can be detected during ultrasound.

It is a rare malformation, but for the Indian population, it is a godsend. A child was born on July 2 with two extra arms and two extra legs in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. For the locals, the child is a reincarnation of the Hindu goddess, Lakshmi, endowed with four arms, and associated with fortune, prosperity and abundance. In reality, the baby probably has polymelia. The legs and arms are not the only parts of the body concerned: it can be the head, the feet or the hands.

What are the causes ?

Polymelia is difficult to explain. It can be the consequence of genetic factors, which will cause defects in the chromosomes or in the genes. This can have an impact on cell division, and subsequently cause malformations. Exposure to viruses, chemicals, or certain treatments can also lead to genetic disorders, which cause polymelia.

Rare cases

This malformation is very rare and only a few cases are reported worldwide. In the majority of them, it is linked to the presence of a twin in the uterus at the embryonic stage. The growth of this fetus stops, except for a few limbs, which “fix” on the other fetus. This is what happened for the recently born baby.

To India TodayDr. Ramesh Babu confirms that it is a case of twin pregnancy.One child’s head appears to be connected to another’s stomach, which is not yet fully developed.”, he adds. The child was taken to a medical center to receive appropriate care, but he is in good health. Usually, operations are needed to remove the limbs and correct any other malformations.

Several operations required

In 2017, a baby in Iraq was also born with 4 additional members. He was operated on in two stages, with two limbs removed each time. A final operation was performed to strengthen one of his legs and correct other malformations, particularly of the spine. The doctors then said that other operations would be necessary in the future, but that the child could live normally.

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A baby is born with four arms and four legs

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