Shalom Life | May 22, 2015

Hasidic Woman Gives Birth to First Child At 65

Israeli boy weighing 5.14 pounds is reportedly happy and healthy

By: Ashley Ramnarain

Published: May 20th, 2015 in News » Israel

A 65-year-old Hasidic woman in Bnei Brak, Israel gave birth to her first child on Monday. Chaya Shahar is now the oldest woman in Israel to have given birth, proving that - for some women - you can never be too old to have a child.

During Chaya Shahar’s 46-year marriage with her husband, Shmuel, the pair never had any children of their own. However, that changed today as their healthy, 5.14 pound son was delivered via caesarean section at Meir Medical Center, in Kfar Sava.

Although fertility treatments on women older than 54-years-old are illegal in Israel, Shahar was conceived through in-vitro fertilization. Shahar managed to get around the law by receiving donated sperm and being inseminated by a physician abroad.

While Shahar appears to be very healthy after delivery - especially for someone of her age - doctors urge older women to reconsider having children.

“We do not recommend this. 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,” Dr. Tal Biron, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Meir Medical Center, told Jerusalem Post.

Despite this, the Shahar family and even Dr. Biron both expressed excitement regarding the birth itself. “We were very excited during the delivery. I have no doubt she will be an excellent mother,” Dr. Biron said. “She is a very special person. The baby is very cute.”

Additionally, despite Chaya Shahar’s age, she will be able to breastfeed her son as any mother would. “She underwent ultrasound scans and all other necessary tests. She always cooperated and never complained. Her message to Israel after the operation was, ‘Never give up,’” Dr. Biron said.

While Chaya Shahar may be the oldest woman to give birth in Israel, Maria del Carmen Bousada de Lara still holds the title of the oldest recorded birth worldwide. The Spain resident was nearly 67 years old when she delivered a set of twins.

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