The Story Behind the Youngest Confirmed Mother in Medical History (1939)
Motherhood is a rite of passage that most women choose to take. It is a powerful concept which affects them throughout their lives, both by its presence and absence.
According to researchers, women associate intense feelings with motherhood, ranging from overwhelming love to resentment towards their babies. The depth of these emotions sometimes surprises and dismays the women themselves.
The question then arises: how young is too young to become a mother? Age matters, of course. So does time of life, maturity level, and a host of other life issues. Simply put, pregnancy at any age has its advantages and disadvantages.
For example, children born to teenage mothers are more likely to suffer from health, social, and emotional problems. Likewise, women who become pregnant during their teens are at increased risk for medical complications such as premature labor and social consequences.
However, for Lina Medina, this wasn’t exactly the case. The little girl from Peru has officially become the youngest confirmed mother in medical history at age 5. After being pregnant for only 7 months and 21 days, she gave birth to a surprisingly healthy baby boy, weighing 2.7 kg.
Initially, Lina was brought to a hospital by her parents due to extreme abdominal growth. Her parents thought she was suffering from a massive tumor, but after being examined by doctors in Pisco, they discovered she was, in fact, pregnant.
Dr. Geraldo Lozada became Lina’s attending doctor, fully taking over the case. He took Lina to a more advanced hospital in Lima for a second opinion, and the pregnancy diagnosis was again confirmed.
Apparently, Lina was born with a rare condition called “precocious puberty” in which the child’s body reaches séxual maturity before age 8. About 1 in every 100,000 children develop this condition.
Lina had experienced her first menstrual cycle at the age of 2 and a half or 3.
She had fully developed breasts by the age of 4. Within five years, her body displayed pelvic widening and advanced bone maturation. Her body was described as that of a very petite, immature woman.
Lina gave birth to a boy by a cesarean section in 1939, performed by Lozada and Dr. Busalleu, with Dr. Colareta providing anesthesia. The child was well-formed, in good health, and was named Gerardo after the doctor who delivered him. They were able to go home only after a few days.
It is said that the 5-year-old girl could not answer questions of her impregnation or who the father was because she herself may not have known. However, séxual abüse was immediately considered where his father was arrested on suspicion of rape and incest. He was released eventually due to lack of evidence.
Gerardo grew up believing that Lina was his older sister and only found out the truth at the age of 10. But despite having no known defects or other health issues, Gerardo diéd relatively young at age 40 in 1979.
Lina, on the other hand, married and had another healthy baby boy. The circumstances surrounding her very early impregnation was never solved.
Throughout the years, many people have called her story a complete hoax. However, a number of doctors have verified it based on biopsies, X-rays of the fetal skeleton in utero, and photographs taken by the doctors caring for her.