A 52-YEAR-old US woman who had already gone through menopause has given birth with help from modern medicine and eggs donated by a niece.
Rita Garcia delivered Daniela Alexandra Garcia by caesarean section on Tuesday at a hospital in Hammond, Indiana.
The baby weighed 2.52kg and was 48.26cm long.
"They say this is a miracle baby," Mrs Garcia said.
Her husband, Rodolfo, originally from Colombia, was stationed in Germany with the US Army. The couple travelled to Panama – Garcia's home country – to use in vitro fertilisation to conceive.
When the Army relocated the Garcias to the United States, they had trouble finding a doctor.
"No one wants to take a 52-year-old," she said.
Then Mrs Garcia found Dr Karl Schwartz of Schwartz Medical Corp in Munster, Indiana.
Dr Schwartz began caring for Mrs Garcia at about six weeks of pregnancy and took special precautions because of her age.
"I definitely knew it was high risk," Dr Schwartz said.
"It's not common. This is the oldest pregnancy I've taken on."
Mrs Garcia had gestational diabetes and, at the end of her pregnancy, developed HELLP Syndrome, which meant she had elevated liver enzyme levels and a low blood platelet count, Dr Schwartz said.
Because Mrs Garcia had already gone through menopause, doctors had to hormonally support the pregnancy for a couple of weeks, he said.
Despite her age and need for hormones, Mrs Garcia is breast-feeding her daughter normally and is expected to be allowed home within days.
The oldest woman in the world to give birth is believed to be Romanian Adriana Iliescu, who was 66 when she had a daughter in Bucharest in January 2005. A 62-year-old woman in California gave birth in February.