A 5 Year Old Peruvian Is The World's Youngest Mother

Peruvian five-year-old Lina Medina, accompanied by her 11-month-old-son Gerardo, and Doctor Lozada who attended her son's birth, are shown in this 1940 file photo taken in Lima's hospital.

When her child was born by Caesarean section in May 1939, Medina made medical history, and is still the youngest known mother in the world. Lina Medina's parents thought their 5-year-old daughter had a huge abdominal tumor and when shamans in their remote village in Peru's Andes could find no cure, her father carried her to a hospital.

Just over a month later, she gave birth to a boy. Medina was born on September 27, 1933 in the small village of Paurange.  She was only 5 years 8 months old at the birth of her child on Mother's Day, May 14, 1939.

Born at full term at Lima's maternity clinic, her child was taken through a caesarian operation (Dr. Lozada and Busalleu, operators, Dr. Colretta, anesthesiologist). The child (boy), weighing 2,700 grams, was well formed and in good health. Child and mother were able to leave the clinic after only a few days.

Doctor Lozada has conducted very detailed studies since the diagnostic of the pregnancy which aroused much curiosity in the country; he took an x-ray of the child and her baby, established a diagnostic of the fetal situation, observed the state of functionality of the little mother who had begun menstruating at the age of 8 months. 

At four years old she had already developed breasts as well as pubic hair, her body proportions were a bit amazing and her bone hardening a bit advanced, things that are often observed in cases of such premature pregnancy.

After taunting from schoolmates, Medina's son, Gerardo - who was named after one of the doctors who attended Medina and who became their mentor - discovered when he was 10 that the person he had grown up believing to be his sister was in fact his mother.

Gerardo died in 1979 at age 40 from a disease that attacks the body's bone marrow, but it was said it was not clear there was any link with his illness and the fact his mother had been so young at his birth.

Medina herself married and in 1972 had a second son, 33 years after her first.  Her second child now lives in Mexico.

Motherhood: Other amazing cases

Bobbie McCaughey is the mother who holds the record for the most surviving children from a single birth. She gave birth to the first set of surviving septuplets - 4 boys and 3 girls on November 19, 1997, at the University Hospital, Iowa, US. Conceived by in vitro fertilization, the babies were delivered after 31 weeks by caesarean in the space of 16 minutes. The babies are named Kenneth, Nathaniel, Brandon, Joel, Kelsey, Natalie and Alexis.

Jayne Bleackley is the mother who holds the record for the shortest interval between two children born in separate pregnancies. She gave birth to Joseph Robert on September 3, 1999, and Annie Jessica Joyce on March 30, 2000. The babies were born 208 days apart.

Elizabeth Ann Buttle is the mother who holds the record for the longest interval between the birth of two children. She gave birth to Belinda on May 19,1956 and Joseph on November 20, 1997. The babies were born 41 years 185 days apart. The mother was 60 years old when her son Joseph was born.

The highest officially recorded number of children born to one Russian mother is 69. Between 1725 and 1765, in a total of 27 pregnancies, she gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, 7 sets of triplets, and 4 sets of quadruplets. 67 of them survived infancy.

The modern world record for giving birth is held by Leontina Albina from San Antonio, Chile. Leontina claims to be the mother of 64 children, of which only 55 of them are documented. She is listed in the 1999 Guinness World Records but dropped from later editions.



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  1. The biological father who impregnated Lina was never identified. For more information, visit




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