Baby born with heart-shaped thumb, parents ‘hope he embraces his difference’

This baby was born with unusual fingers, this is what they look like.

Baby born with heart-shaped thumb
© RUN / Lionsgate
Baby born with heart-shaped thumb

Having a baby is always a complex experience, but with modern technology we are able to deal with all sorts of complications. The birth itself, if all goes well, is a moment of joy for the mother and family. However, sometimes there are some abnormalities in the process.

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We’ve already told you about the baby who was born with her mother’s IUD in her hair. Today’s story is about a baby who was born with a heart-shaped thumb. Here’s everything you need to know.

Sarah Wilson’s baby

Sarah Wilson gave birth in Ohio earlier this year. She had a healthy baby boy, but everything was not quite as the doctors expected it to be. The new mother shared her experience with Newsweek, and said that the medics told her they had never ‘seen a case like this in their careers’ before.

Wilson’s son was born by C-section at 36 weeks and six days old. The doctors performed routine checks on the new baby and discovered that he had polydactyly.

What is polydactyly?

Polydactyly is the medical term for when a baby is born with one or more extra fingers. According to St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust:

Polydactyly occurs as the fingers form during embryo development. They fail to divide properly instead forming extra divisions that go on to form partial or whole extra digits.

This is relatively common, and research shows that polydactyly occurs in an average of 1.6 to 10.7 of every 1,000 births. Interestingly, it is twice as likely to happen to boys as it is to girls.

However, it does not run in Wilson’s family, making her baby’s extra digit quite a rare phenomenon.

Heart-shaped thumb

Wilson’s baby didn’t just have an extra thumb; the way it formed next to his other thumb created a lovely heart shape. Wilson explained that ‘the doctors there told us they never have seen extra appendages in that arrangement’:

Usually it was something they could tie off and it dies off like the umbilical cord, but they told us there was nothing they could do at the hospital and would require follow-ups with specialists.

The baby is booked in for a further appointment where medical professionals will access options. They are also interested in studying the boy’s thumbs, Wilson explained:

I was told by another pediatrician that they are very interested in seeing the X-rays since they rarely ever see this variation of polydactyly.

The abnormality came as a ‘complete surprise’ to Wilson, and she said:

Right now he's able to use his hand like everyone else. We will weigh the pros and cons about surgery when he's young. He's less than a week old at this point and he has so much growing to do.

The young mother added: ‘If my husband and I see that his thumb is negatively impacting his life, we will highly consider surgery. There is also the concern of kids his age potentially making fun of him when he gets older, and I hate seeing that for my kids. I just hope he embraces his difference because he is such a beautiful child and we love him so much.’

Read more:

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20 celebrities who used a surrogate to have a baby, from Kim Kardashian to Jimmy Fallon

Princess Diana’s niece Kitty Spencer welcomes baby with husband Michael Lewis
Sources used:

Newsweek: New Mom Discovers Baby Son Was Born With Beautiful Rare 'Heart-Shaped' Thumb


St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: Accessory Digits: Outpatient Removal

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