66-Year-Old Gives Birth

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Doctors said a 66-year-old Romanian woman gave birth Sunday to a baby girl and had become the world's oldest recorded woman to give birth. The child's twin sister was stillborn, they said.

Romanian doctors at the Giulesti Maternity Hospital in Bucharest said Adriana Iliescu, who was artificially inseminated, delivered a daughter by cesarean section early Sunday.

Iliescu's daughter — Eliza Maria — was born more than six weeks short of a full 40-week pregnancy term, said a hospital spokeswoman. She weighed just 3.19 pounds, less than half the weight of an average newborn, and was in the intensive care unit but breathing on her own, the spokeswoman said.

Late Sunday, the baby had her first meal a few drops of glucose.

"We are happy that the mother and child are normal and we hope this will continue," said Dr. Bogdan Marinescu, who runs the hospital.

Doctors performed the emergency cesarean section after the smaller of Iliescu's twins died in the womb, the spokeswoman said. That child weighed just 1.5 pounds, she said.

"The mother is doing well — she is saying she has been given a new lease of life," the spokeswoman said, reading from a statement.

Iliescu underwent fertility treatment for nine years, including procedures to reverse the effects of menopause, before being artificially inseminated, Marinescu told reporters.

He said he successfully inseminated Iliescu on his first attempt, and that she initially was carrying triplets but lost the third fetus after nine to ten weeks.

Asked why he had let a 66-year-old woman become pregnant, Marinescu said: "She was in the right condition to carry a pregnancy."

There is no law in Romania stipulating a maximum age for artificial insemination, and he said declined to comment on ethical questions regarding the pregnancy.

However, he said he was impressed by Iliescu's faith in God and her determination to have a child. Doctors say the mother and child may be released from the hospital in the next few weeks.

Guinness World Records lists two 63-year-old women who have given birth: Rosanna Della Corte of Italy in 1994 and Arceli Keh of California in 1996. News reports, however, have put Della Corte's age at 62 when she gave birth.