Lifestyle / Health

Farrah Francis
Lifestyle Managing Editor
2 minute read
5 Nov 2021
7:56 am

Expert explains Zahara’s strange birth story, answers pressing belly button question

Farrah Francis

Dr Mpume Zende, a gynaecologist with years of experience, has weighed in on singer Zahara's birth story, as told to MacG.

Zahara. Picture: Instagram

An interview with MacG about Zahara’s birth story has perplexed many. She says she survived in her mother’s womb without an umbilical cord and that she was birthed with the sac in tact and it remained there for three days.

The Loliwe singer also said: “I was born in a sac, yes you can Google it. [There are] children born in a sac there are those born in with an umbilical cord but there are those born without an umbilical cord. In the world we are only 40,000, Google it.”

Dr Mpume Zende, a gynaecologist with years of experience, currently practicing in the Morningside area, explains.

“First, we need to explain the umbilical cord and it’s function. It is the source of oxygenated blood. The umbilical cord – basically one vein and two arteries that supply oxygenated blood from mom to baby. A baby cannot oxygenate by themselves and cannot survive without the cord. The cord is what gives life.”

The medical term known as omphalocele has been thrown around since Zahara’s revelation on Podcast and Chill but the doctor explains that the two are not related in anyway.

“There is no relation between the umbilical cord or omphalocele – a congenital deformity where the abdomen does not close and the intestines and other organs sit outside the baby’s stomach.”

Zahara goes on to explain she was born in the sac known as en caul birth, also called a veiled birth, and remained in the sac for three days thereafter.

The gynaecologist explains the possibilities of being born in the sac and surviving.

She says: “It’s rare, one in a thousand. We would, at delivery, break it (the sac) ourselves, especially if it’s premature.. the clinical personnel would split it open.”

She explains why it is important to split it open as soon as the baby is born.

“It is important for the baby to take a breath, in order for [the] lungs to inflate and for the baby to start receiving oxygen on its own.

“Scientifically, it doesn’t sound right to me. It could have been a home birth as was done a lot in those days and the information was not well documented. She could have been a woman in distress, with no pain management, and it’s not realistic in terms of information supplied in the interview.”

About Dr Mpume:

Obstetrician & Gynaecologist Special interest in Sexual & Reproductive Health and Sexual Medicine She is not only a passionate OB-Gynae ,but also Founder of Mics & Steths (Microphones &Stethoscopes) Legacy ,a health and information consultancy that seeks to provide solutions to Sexual and Reproductive Health & Wellness through connecting Media and Medicine. Her qualifications include:

  • Undergraduate (MD): MBCHB Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine University of KwaZulu Natal
  • Post-Graduate: Specialized in Obstetrics & Gynecology FCOG(SA) University of Witwatersrand