BEIJING: A 64-year-old woman in China is believed to have become the oldest mother in the country to give birth to a baby.
The mother, who has not been identified, delivered a boy weighing 3.7 kgs through cesarean section at a hospital in Jilin province, official media here reported.
She conceived the baby after receiving in vitro fertilisation abroad.
Photos uploaded to social media yesterday showed the woman in a delivery room and a nurse holding a newborn.
The woman and her husband declined to be interviewed, but people close to the family said the couple decided to have the baby after losing their first child, state-run China Daily reported.
Teng Hong, a doctor who helped with the delivery, said the mother went through menopause about a decade ago.
She was able to conceive after undergoing in vitro fertilisation overseas.
Due to her age, the woman faced a lot of health risks during pregnancy, including gestational diabetes and internal bleeding, Teng said.
"But she's very strong. She received treatment with an optimistic attitude and overcame all the difficulties to gave birth," Teng said.
She said the baby is in good condition. As the woman is no longer able to lactate, the child is being fed baby formula.
"We're keeping a close eye on the mother because women of this age can encounter cardiac failure and uncontrollable bleeding during or after a C-section, which are very dangerous," Teng said.
In recent years, China has seen several cases of older women having children.
Although there is no official data, including who is the oldest, anecdotal evidence suggests most of the older women had another baby after they lost their first child.
Teng said she had a patient who gave birth two years ago at age 53 after losing a child, while in July, a 61-year-old gave birth after her only daughter died of disease at 30.
It is a risky decision to have a child so late, but also a brave and understandable one, the doctor said.
"The successful delivery on Wednesday will bring hope to others like her, letting them know that they can also have babies and find happiness again with the help of assisted reproductive technology," Teng said.
In a bid to shore up the numbers of the younger population,China this year has ended the three decades old one-child policy and replaced it with two-child as the demographic crisis deepened with sharp rise in the population ofoldagepopulation.