Lina Medina is the youngest mother in the world, having given birth at 5 years old.
It attracts attention when a minor becomes pregnant ; Not so long ago it was relatively normal, but today it is considered a rarity, at least in Western countries.
The truth is that many young mothers, despite how complicated the issue may seem, get ahead, also thanks to the good will of their parents, who tend to support them in this difficult time.
But if it is already strange to us that someone can be a mother at 14 or 15 years old, more surprising is the case that we will talk about in this article: the youngest mother in the world is only five years old, according to The New York Times . Next we will see what her story was and what measures need to be taken to protect minors in this regard.
Lina Medina: a mother of only 5 years
Although child pregnancies are normal in some parts of the world, especially in less industrialized countries, the youngest mother in the world was not even old enough to attend primary school. The story goes that Lina Medina, a Peruvian girl only five years old, had a son in 1939. When the girl complained of severe stomach pains, no one imagined what the reason was.
The minor was taken by her mother to the hospital because her belly began to become large and visible. At first, doctors thought he was suffering from a tumor, after all, he was only five years old. After tests performed on Lina, the doctors diagnosed that she was seven months pregnant. Weeks later, on May 14, 1939, she gave birth to a boy who weighed 6 pounds, and who was later named Gerardo in honor of the doctor who treated him.
Lina is considered not only the youngest mother in the world, but after 80 years since the birth of her son, she is still the youngest mother in history.
Is it possible for a 5-year-old girl to get pregnant?
How is it possible for such a young girl to have a child? One also wonders if Lina was physically mature to get pregnant.
And it is that the age of the first menstruation is the result of the combination of multiple factors (genetic, nutritional, physical activity, etc.). However, the best health and food have come a long way in recent decades, and that is why the age of this first menstruation has advanced compared to the previous generation. Currently, the average age at which it appears for the first time is 12.5 years, and it can appear at 8 or 9 years in extreme cases. However, there is evidence that centuries ago the age at which it appeared was around 16.
So how could Lina have a child? The doctor discovered that even though the little girl was 5 years old, her sexual organs were mature enough to be a mother. This is what is known in medicine as precocious puberty.
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Who is the father?
Surely there are more doubts haunting the reader’s mind when reading this article. Well, at that time it was speculated that the father could have been the culprit that his own daughter became pregnant, and a few days later he was arrested.
But since there was no proof of his guilt, he was released by the police soon after. To this day, the true identity of the father has never been revealed. The story told by various newspapers, such as the British newspaper The Sun , is that Gerardo grew up thinking that his mother was his sister. The idea that he was being so young with his mother could have caused the stigmatization that could be socially constructed at any time to haunt them both, so it was hidden. It wasn’t until the age of 10 that he was told that Lina was his mother. Gerardo grew up healthy but passed away at age 40 after suffering from bone disease. His mother is still alive today.
What to do in these cases?
The existence of pregnant minors is a symptom of the lack of protection suffered by many young women, in some cases finding themselves at risk within their own family. These cases show the need for well-prepared and well-resourced social services, as well as legislation that allows for selective action in these cases to improve the quality of life of these girls and adolescents.
It is also necessary a cultural change that leads to not stigmatizing these young women and blaming them for everything that has happened to them, as well as a social conscience that leads to not assuming as normal cases of rape or sexual abuse covered in a false mutual agreement.
On the other hand, psychotherapeutic care is also usually required to treat problems related to education, protection of self-esteem and the management of family conflicts that child pregnancies usually trigger.
Minor pregnancies in Spain
Minor pregnancies also occur in Spain. In 2008, the National Institute of Statistics (INE) carried out a study to determine how many underage mothers had been born that year. Their results concluded that 178 girls under the age of 15 were mothers.
Their data also revealed that since the 1990s, the maternity of girls under 15 has not dropped below 80 cases a year. In addition, it must be taken into account that many minors who become pregnant abort, so according to estimates the real figure rises to at least 500 pregnancies per year.
The case of the youngest birth that has occurred in Spain is 10 years old. The mother gave birth to her baby in Jerez, according to the newspaper El País.