Doctors say a 64-year-old woman has given birth to a healthy set of twins at a hospital in Spain — her second successful pregnancy in the span of 6 years.
The woman, who is only being identified by the initials M.I.A., delivered the babies via cesarean section at Recoletas Hospital in Burgos on Tuesday. Doctors say both babies, a boy and a girl, are in “perfect health.”
In a statement, the hospital called it an “exceptional case.”
The delivery was a coordinated effort involving a medical team that included two gynecologists, two pediatricians, two midwives and a handful of nurses.
It’s the second time the woman has given birth at Recoletas Hospital at an unsually advanced age. In 2011, at the age of 58, she gave birth to her first daughter.
Spanish newspaper Diario de Burgos reports the woman’s daughter has been in the custody of local authorities since 2014 because she didn’t attend school and was not properly cared for. Recoletas Hospital medical director Enrique Martin confirmed to the Associated Press on Wednesday that the hospital was discussing with the regional government’s social services the woman’s ability and resources to take care of the newborns.
“She showed up four months pregnant at the gates of our hospital and all we could do was face the situation and react,” Martin said.
The woman underwent in-vitro fertilization (IVF) in the United States ahead of her second pregnancy.
“Specialists opted for a planned cesarean, generally indicated in these cases for pregnancies of twins,” the hospital statement explained.
Although it’s unusual for a woman her age to give birth, especially to a set of twins, M.I.A. didn’t break any world records.
In April, an Indian woman named Daljinder Kaur, who’s believed to be at least 70 years old, gave birth to a son. The baby was the first for Kaur and her 79-year-old husband, Mohinder Singh Gill, after nearly five decades of marriage. Kaur also underwent IVF treatment in order to get pregnant.
Laws in Spain don’t establish legal limits on the maximum age for assisted reproduction, but some doctors and fertility experts have expressed concern over the years about the ethics of allowing IVF treatment on women older than 50.
“Data shows that as maternal age increases, so do the risk of health complications for the pregnant woman,” Dr. Ruth M. Farrell, a bioethicist in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cleveland Clinic, told CBS News back in May. “Complications associated with blood pressure, blood sugars, other things that can affect the mother’s health.”
So far, doctors say the Spanish woman and her children appear to be in good health.
“The intervention was a success thanks to the coordinated work of a multidisciplinary team of the hospital,” Recoletas Hospital wrote.