updated 5/30/2008 9:27:35 AM ET 2008-05-30T13:27:35

A woman in a northern Australian city gave birth to a healthy baby girl after a rare full-term ectopic pregnancy, a hospital official said Friday.

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Meera Thangarajah, 34, had no symptoms or complications during her pregnancy, so doctors performing a routine Caesarean section Thursday were shocked to find that the baby had developed in the ovary rather than the uterus.

An ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when a fertilized egg develops outside of the uterus, usually miscarries or is terminated by doctors because of the threat it can cause to the mother.

Baby Durga weighed 6 pounds, 3 ounces, and both she and her mother are healthy, said Robyn Cahill, general manager of the Darwin Private Hospital.

"We're calling it a miracle," Cahill told The Associated Press.

The baby's father, Ravi Thangarajah, told Nine Network television that doctors had told him, "You're one of the luckiest men in the world at the moment."

But Cahill said the mother had no complications or symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, and it did not show up on a scan halfway through the pregnancy. She said only 1 in 40,000 fertilizations implant in the ovary, and it is unheard of that one of those fetuses grow to full term, generally 37 weeks.

Durga was born at 38 weeks.

"It is extremely rare," said Mark Erian, a specialist in high-risk obstetrics at the University of Queensland. "I have never seen a case that progresses until fetal viability. She was absolutely lucky to have the pregnancy progress."

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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