74-Year-Old Gives Birth for the First Time -- To Twins

Woman in India gives birth at 74
Hindustan Times/YouTube

The age most women give birth for the first time has been trending upwards for decades -- especially in the US, where the average age of a first-time mother is now 26, The New York Times reports. (That's up from age 21 in 1972.) But one woman in southern India has tossed all of those averages way out the window, after giving birth for the first time at 74 -- and to twins, no less!

  • Mangayamma Yaramati delivered healthy twin girls via C-section on Thursday, and is now recovering in intensive care.

    "Both mother and the infants are healthy and have no complications whatsoever,” Dr. Sankayyala Uma Shankar, director of Ahalya Hospital in the city of Guntur, told the Hindustan Times.

    Yaramati is said to have conceived the babies after years of struggling with infertility, though it wasn't exactly an "oops." Yaramati ultimately turned to in vitro fertilization after learning that a neighbor of hers had success with the process while still in her 50s.

    While that might raise an eyebrow (or two), considering the questionable ethics that go into putting a woman's body -- and an embryo -- through the stress of an elderly pregnancy, the practice is not totally unheard of. 

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  • In recent years, there have been several headline-making pregnancies involving babies being born to older women.

    In 2015, a German woman gave birth at the age of 65 -- and get this: she delivered quadruplets. And just earlier this year, a 61-year-old grandmother gave birth to her own grandchild when she became a surrogate for her son and his husband.

    In 2016, a similar story out of India made headlines, too, when Daljinder Kauer, believed to be 70, gave birth to a baby boy after conceiving through IVF. Her husband was 79 at the time. 

  • Regardless of any controversy surrounding Yaramati's age, her husband says they are over the moon with their two baby girls.

    "We are the happiest couple on Earth today," Sitarama Rajarao, 80, told the Times of India. "We have our own children."

    For the couple, who have been married for 57 years, the heartache of not having children for so many years far outweighed the risks. 

    "People looked at me with accusing eyes as if I had committed a sin," Yaramati told the Times of India, about the guilt of being childless.

  • Because of her age, doctors said they constantly monitored Yaramati's health throughout the pregnancy.

    Still, the fact that her fertility doctors pursued the method at all at her age has given local doctors some cause for concern. Speaking with the Times of India, Buchipudi Samba Siva Reddy said the whole thing was "a debatable issue." 

    For now, though, mom and babies seem to be doing well. And while Yaramati may need some extra recovery time after the stress of delivery, her joy over finally becoming a mother is evident.

    So is her place in history: While it's difficult to know for sure, some say she could be the oldest woman to ever give birth. And that's a pretty remarkable feat.