Did You Know?
The youngest mother ever in recorded medical history was only 5 years old.
1939: Lina Medina becomes the youngest confirmed mother in recorded medical history, delivering a son at the age of 5.
The Peruvian child delivered a 5-pound, 8-ounce boy via caesarean section; her small pelvis made it impossible for the baby to pass through the birth canal. In a detailed report of the case, Dr. Edmundo Escomel described the girl’s early sexual maturity. Lina had her first menstrual cycle when she was only eight months old; her breasts were almost completely developed by the time she was 4.
Lina’s condition, known as precocious puberty, was an extreme case, so much so that the story was dismissed as a hoax by many. But doctors X-rayed the fetus’ skeleton in utero and provided a picture of Lina, taken late in her pregnancy. The photograph, shot in profile, proves not only the pregnancy but shows the extent of her sexual development.
The baby, a boy named Gerardo, was healthy. He grew up normally (his mother’s true identity was revealed to him when he was 10) but died at 40 from a bone-marrow disease.
Paternity remains a mystery. Lina’s father was arrested on suspicion of rape and incest but the charges were later dropped for lack of evidence. Lina, who is still living, has never divulged a name and, indeed, may not know.