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First baby born in 12 years

Births are banned on the remote island and the mother says she did not know she was pregnant.

A remote Brazilian island with a ban on childbirth is nonetheless celebrating the first baby born there in 12 years.

Fernando de Noronha island, 370km (230 miles) from the city of Natal, has about 3,000 residents but no maternity wards.

Expectant mothers are requested to travel to the mainland.

A woman who does not want to be named had a baby girl on Saturday on the island – she says she was unaware she was pregnant and is “dumbstruck”.

Surprise birth

The woman is believed to be aged 22.

“On Friday night I had pains and when I went to the bathroom I saw something coming down between my legs,” she was quoted as saying by O Globo website.

“That’s when the child’s father came and picked it up. It was a baby, a girl. I was dumbstruck.”

The baby was later taken to the local hospital.

In a statement, the local administration confirmed the birth.

“The mother, who does not wish to be identified, went into labour at her home,” the statement says, according to O Globo.

“The family says they were not aware of the pregnancy.”

To celebrate the rare birth, local residents are now helping the family, with some donating clothes for the baby girl, reports say.

Fernando de Noronha boasts some of the world’s best beaches and is famous for its wildlife reserve in Brazil’s national maritime park. Sea turtles, dolphins, whales and rare birds are frequently observed there.

First baby born in 12 years

Because of the reserve’s vulnerability, strict population controls are in place on the island.

The BBC contributed to this report.

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