Motherhood is a rite of passage that most women choose to take. Most women plan out the birth of their child and prepare for it mentally and physically. Some women are not so lucky and have accidental pregnancies that leave them thinking about the next step, but most manage to keep their heads above water as their maternal instincts kick in and the survival of their baby becomes top priority, whether planned or unplanned.
A pregnancy requires the fetus to reside in the mother’s womb for nine months or ten weeks, but sometimes due to complications, premature babies are born and do not get the full time needed to develop. However, through medical advancements, premature babies now have the same life expectancy as normal full term babies. All over the world women give birth to babies, greatly increasing the population size and ensuring the continuation of the human race, the question then arises how young is too young to become a mother?
Most individuals argue that teenage pregnancies do not allow for the mother to have amassed enough knowledge or wealth to take care of her child, but many young women have been teenage mothers and their babies grow up to be functioning members in society. Most teenage mothers understand that the odds are already stacked against them, so they step up to the plate and do what is necessary for the betterment of themselves and their offspring. For Lina Medina, this wasn’t exactly the case.
The youngest reported mother in history happened to be a 5 year old girl named Lina Medina who lived in Peru who gave birth to a baby boy in 1939.
Lina gave birth to a healthy baby boy after carrying him for only 7 months and 21 days; her son weighed 2.7 kg. She named him after her doctor, Gerardo, who had to perform a cesarean section because the 5 year old mother’s pelvis was too small. It was reported by Dr.Edmundo Escomel in the medical journal La Presse Medicale that Lina had experienced her first menstrual period at 8 months of age and she had prominent breast development by age 4.
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. Medina worked as a secretary to support herself and her son in the Lima clinic of Lozada. She gained valuable knowledge there and also great assistance in putting her son through high school.
At the start of his life Gerardo believed that Lina was his big sister but at the age of 10 he found out that she in fact his mother. Gerardo died at the age of 40 in 1979 from either a bone marrow infection or bone caner. Lina married Raul Jurado and had another healthy baby boy in 1972. The circumstances surrounding the impregnation of the 5 year old Lina was never solved, but motherhood allowed her to do what was necessary to ensure that herself and her son lived a good life.