In the year, 1939, a young family in Peru took their youngest daughter to a hospital in Lima. The abdomen of the little 5-year-old girl was increasing over time and resembled something unnatural. They feared that she might be dying from a tumor or something far worse. Surely, no other possible reason could make up for it? Sadly, that was not the case. Much to the shock of everyone present, the doctors stated the diagnosis. The girl was seven months pregnant at the time. At the mere age of 5 years, the name Lina Medina would go down in history as the youngest mother in the world.
Who is Lina Medina?
Born to a silversmith named Tiburelo Medina and his wife Victoria Losea, Lina Medina was a happy child. They lived in a small town of Ticrapo in the Castrovirreyna Province in Peru. The couple gave birth to her on the 23rd of September, 1933. Lina had eight more siblings, all of whom she loved dearly. Overall, the family lived a normal nothing-out-of-the-ordinary life.
That is until in 1939 when Lina’s belly started enlarging over time. Unsure of what that might mean, the family took her to the doctor for a checkup. However, the reality that she would become the youngest mother in the world never crossed their minds. In fact, to be sure, the doctors performed many rounds of testing- each of them showing the same answer. Furthermore, outside counsel was also brought in but they too came to the same conclusions.
However, while it is surprising and an extremely rare case, the doctors of the time did not completely rule it out to be impossible.
This is because Lina was going through accelerated growth in her body, medically termed as precocious puberty. Under this condition, the male and female bodies hit puberty at an extremely fast rate. This is why Lina became the youngest mother in the world Guinness Book of Records has ever recorded. In fact, she got her first period when she was only eight months old.
In the matter of precocious puberty, the most common victims are the girls over the boys. The accelerated puberty includes all the signs of adolescence appearing in these children. For example, the girls notice premature period, widening of the hips and development of breasts in their bodies. On the other hand, the changes in the boys can be seen easily, as the growth of genitals and hair on the face. Also, their voice frequency changes and they get a much deeper voice.
While these conditions that led Lina to become the youngest mother in the world is uncommon, it is not rare. In fact, in the recorded medical history, around 10,000 children have suffered from this condition. It is unsure why this happens, but recently, doctors have gotten a new breakthrough. Children, who suffer from sexual trauma at a young age, have a higher chance of developing puberty earlier than normal.
How did she become the youngest mother in the world?
While medically it is possible, it is still pretty obvious to all that it takes two to tango. Keeping that in mind, who is the father?
To this day, no one knows the answer to this question surely. Of course, there were a lot of speculations, and people assumed a lot of scandalous scenarios. At one point during the time she was pregnant, her father was arrested on charges of child rape. The man denied the charges but the confusion and shock surrounding the youngest mother in the world riled the public.
However, due to lack of evidence or witness, Tiburelo was released. That did not stop the media and public speculation, causing tension for the Medina family. On the matter of the father’s identity, they remained steadfast silent. This only increased the amount of gossip and discussion on the situation. Everyone believed that something wrong was happening in the family, and the latter refused to comment on the situation.
One of the leading theories, as put forward by a reputed newspaper, was that maybe the family was not entirely involved. There were occurrences of religious ceremonies in the some of the Peruvian villages at the time. In some cases, these events were followed by orgies among the community members who took part in the ritual. Therefore, it was a plausible explanation behind Lina becoming the youngest mother in the world.
After all, it was not uncommon for children to be in the vicinity at the time, which could have occurred in this case. Meanwhile, when Lina was asked about it, she could not give an accurate description of the father. It is understandable, though, given her age and possible trauma of the event. Thus, the father of Lina’s child would always remain a mystery.
Lina’s pregnancy was handled from the initial stages by Dr. Gerardo Lozada. He took care of her entire pregnancy procedure and also the delivery. Due to her small stature as a 5-year-old, normal delivery was not a possibility. Lina was diagnosed when she was at seven months pregnant, and nearly 2 months after that she gave birth. It was then that she became the youngest mother in the world Guinness Book of Records history holder.
Her birth was handled through the cesarean method. The doctors in charge were Dr. Lozada along with Dr. Busalleu, and Dr. Colareta as the chief anesthesiologist. Meanwhile, during the surgery, the doctors discovered that Lina already had completely functional sexual organs. This was when the medical phenomenon behind her pregnancy and bodily factors was solved. These include when she received her first period, and the regularity of them starting from when she was only 3 years old. All of the major factors surrounding the case were accounted for in proper detailing in a medical journal by Dr. Edmundo Escomel. Much of the current information regarding Lina’s medical conditions are found in these records.
The youngest mother in the world gave birth to a healthy baby boy on May 14th of that year. His weight was 6.0 lbs or 2.7 kgs when he was born. With the constant support and guidance from Dr. Lozada, Lina had grown a close bond with him. Consequently, she named her son after him, Gerardo.
Hoax or truth?
There is a lot of mystery surrounding Lina, despite repeated attempts by the local and national media to contact her. From around the time that this story broke out, the Medina family shunned media attention and refused to remark on any comments. With time, people started wondering if the entire situation was a hoax organized by the family.
Of course, that is not the case here. Despite being the youngest mother in the world, Lina and her family never tried to gain family attention. Besides, while their personal behavior is a good example, the most damning evidence is the medical records. There is a lot of information regarding the physical changes in the baby and Lina herself, including photographs.
Though she gave birth to a young baby at a young age, she did not lose her childhood. Her family brought up baby Gerardo as their son and Lina’s brother. In fact, he did not learn the truth until he was 10 years of age. The youngest mother in the world grew up to be quite an intelligent and healthy woman, focusing on her career and family. She worked as a secretary at the hospital and married Raul Jurado in the early 1970s. She had a second child with him when she turned 39.
Gerardo did not receive any medical issues or deformities. He was quite a healthy child- in both spirit and body. He had the ambition to be a doctor when he grew up. However, due to a disease in his bone marrows, he died at an early age in 1979.
Because of her aversion to publicity, it is not clear if the youngest mother in the world is still alive. If yes, she would be at the age of 80 currently.
Other Notable Mentions
While Lina Medina’s case is quite popular and somewhat shocking, it is not the only such case known in history. Unfortunately, many such cases are present in the world where young girls around the ages of 5 to 12 years have gotten pregnant. Precocious pregnancy, here too, is one of the factors. Furthermore, that cannot be the only cause of it, and non-consensual encounters are quite common in all.
The youngest mother in the UK currently is Tressa Middleton. She got pregnant in 2006 at the age of 12 years. Sadly, the baby was taken from her, something that haunts the young mother to this day. Moreover, what is worse about this situation is that the father of the first child is none other than her own brother. Her elder brother started the horrible ordeal since she was 8 years old, and that ultimately led to her pregnancy at age 12.
Currently, she is happily engaged to a young man named Darren Young and gave birth to her second child. Aside from that, some reports suggest another identified girl as the youngest mother in the UK, who gave birth to a baby at the age of 9. However, no records of her identity are available.
In India, most of these pregnancies are prevalent in rural areas and sometimes caused due to societal situations. This is mainly because of child marriages, especially back in history. One such case occurred in Kashmir where a penniless widow was forced to marry her daughter off at the age of 8 years. Consequently, she got pregnant at that premature age. Unfortunately, it did not end happily as both the mother and child did not survive. However, when it comes to youngest mothers, she is not the prime example from India.
When speaking of youngest mothers, one of the youngest was a girl born in the Niger Coast. She also happens to be the world’s youngest grandmother. On the island of Calabar, the leader of the tribe Chief Akkiri had a harem. This young girl, Mum-Zi was part of that harem, which led to her pregnancy. The details of the incident are not accounted for, but it is seen repeated in the case of her daughter Zi.
Like her mother, Zi too became sexually active at a very early age. It is possible that the father of her child was a relative of Chief Akkiri himself. Regardless, she got pregnant at the age of 8 as well and gave birth to a young child.
This marked a major moment in history, bringing these two women to new recognition. Zi became one of the youngest mothers in the world, while her young mother of 17 years became the world’s youngest grandmother.
Another of the youngest mothers in history was a young girl named Anna Mummenthaler from the Old Swiss Confederacy. Not much information is known about the girl, except that she was eight years old when she gave birth. The father of her baby was her uncle, who had molested her. When the baby was born, however, she was found to be stillborn.
Who is the youngest mother when it comes to twins?
While speaking of youngest mothers, the factor of twins should also be considered. With that in mind, the youngest mother to give birth to twins in recorded history is Annie Gladstone from Britain. In fact, she gave birth to two pairs of twins, the first being when she was around 21 years of age.
Possibly one of the most fertile women in the world, Annie and the guy she is engaged to, Rich Porter, are very happy and content. She is the youngest woman to give birth twice in a row in Britain’s history. However, neither of the parents have any twins in their families to their knowledge. When it comes to the matter of the youngest mother to give birth to twins, there are other accounts present as well.
All in all, like Lina Medina, many other women have marked their names in history when it comes to their age and pregnancy.