It’s very rare, but it has been known to happen. Called “Coffin Birth,” it’s a phenomenon that occurs when a pregnant woman delivers a child spontaneously after her death—due to gases that built up in the abdominal area, putting pressure on the mother’s uterus and forcing the baby out the birth passageway. One example of this was discovered in 2010 in the grave of a medieval woman who was buried in Italy.
At some point in the 7th or 8th century, a pregnant woman died and was buried in the medieval Italian town of Imola. There is, sadly, nothing unusual about that. But when the woman’s grave was discovered in 2010, a very strange detail emerged. First, a cluster of tiny bones lay between the woman’s legs—the remains of her fetus, which appeared to have been born after her death.