Haya Shahar, a 65-year-old Hassidic woman from Bnei Brak, gave birth to a baby boy on Monday via cesarean section at Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba, making her the oldest women in Israel to give birth, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The world record holder for the oldest woman to give birth is Maria del Carmen Cousada de Lara from Spain, who was 67-years-old when she gave birth to twins.
Shahar and her husband Shmuel, aged 67, were unable to have a child over the course of their 46-year marriage. The new baby, who weighed in at 2.68 kg. (5.9 lbs.), was produced via in-vitro fertilization (IVF) with donated or purchased sperm.
The Shahars were extremely happy with the birth of their son and grateful to their team of doctors and nurses. The couple credited a rabbi’s blessing they received three years ago for the success of the pregnancy.
In Israel, it is illegal to perform IVF on a woman over the age of 54 due to increased health risks to both mother and baby. The hospital would not disclose where Shahar obtained the sperm, although according to the report, it is suspected to be from Russia.
“We do not recommend this,” explained Dr. Tal Biron, an obstetrician/gynecologist at the hospital. “It is illegal to perform in-vitro fertilization on a woman of this age, and it is dangerous.”
“There are many possible complications. Pregnancy is an unnecessary burden on the mother’s body,” the doctor added.
As a woman increases in age, so too does the risk of possible complications she and her baby may face, including: gestational diabetes, hypertension, preeclampsia, placenta previa, low birth weight of the baby, a premature delivery, and a doubling of fetal mortality.
Despite the high-risk pregnancy, “we were very excited during the delivery,” Biron explained. “I have no doubt she will be an excellent mothers. She is a very special person. The baby is very cute.”