One would think the youngest mother ever would be a teen or a pre-teen from the ancient era. But, the youngest mother ever was just a 5 year old child who gave birth to a healthy child.
When we were kids, all we wanted to do was grow up. Be an adult and have the freedom. But growing up meant going through a lot of bodily changes that we as Indians were never taught about. No one told us that when we grew up we will have so many responsibilities. We had questions like why is mom or our sister in pain on some days, why are they taking a newspaper with them to the bathroom or toilet? We were never given the answer to these questions.
We had no idea that the bodily differences didn’t just appear on the adults, there was a whole process that the body went through. These changes are called puberty. While scientists studied these changes in the body, it was found that some people go through puberty at abnormal times. On average, a girl’s puberty process begins at the age of 11 while the boys start the process at age 12. The process can start even from the age of 8 and can be completed by the age of 14. It is not necessary that every child goes through puberty in this time frame only. It is completely normal if you are late. But when a child goes through puberty before the age of 8, the condition is called Precocious puberty.
What is Precocious Puberty?
Why a child goes through precocious puberty is unknown. In some rare cases, the reason may be an infection, a hormone disorder, tumors, brain abnormality, or injury. When the breast growth and first period in girls occur before the age of 8 or when a boy’s testicles and penis have enlarged, he develops facial hair and his voice deepens before the age of 9, or when the pubic or underarm air starts growing, or the child develops acne and is growing rapidly, it is a sign that the child is undergoing precocious puberty.
There have been cases of children having precocious puberty and the treatment is majorly based on medicines. You need to also make sure that your child doesn’t have access to anything that has high contents of estrogen or testosterone. One of the cases of precocious puberty in a child is that of a 5-year-old Lina Medina who started menstruating at the age of 3. Yeah, we couldn’t believe it either.
Lina Marcela Medina
Lina Marcela Medina was born on the 23rd of September 1933 in Peru. Her parents were Victoria Losea, a housemaker, and Tiburelo Medina, a silversmith. When she was just 5 years and 6 months, her body changed completely. Her parents noticed that there was an abnormal swelling in her abdominal area. At first, they believed that it was a tumor, which would be very rational.
But that was a wrong guess. They took her to a hospital in Pisco where they met doctor Gerardo Lozada. He confirmed that Lina was pregnant. Yes, a 5-year-old was pregnant with a baby. Not only that, she was in her 7th month of pregnancy, which means the baby was conceived when she was 4 years only. It is horrible to even imagine a child who can barely understand anything, having a child of her own. Like any parent, Lina’s parents did not believe the doctor, honestly, who would?
5-year-old Pregnant Girl
Lina was then taken to specialists in Lima, the capital and the largest city of Peru, in hopes that since the city was the capital, they would have better doctors and their daughter could be diagnosed better. But the doctors at Lima also confirmed that Lina was indeed pregnant. When the doctors found out that a 5-year-old child is pregnant, they called the police right away as there was no other explanation than rape.
The police arrested Lina’s father Tiburelo as their first suspect. It is always the ones closest to the victim that are accused first. Therefore, the father was the first suspect for the police. After a week of interrogation, however, the police had to let Tiburelo go as there was no evidence to prove that he had raped his daughter. The second suspect was Lina’s mentally unstable cousin. But again, there was no evidence and the police could not prosecute either of the men. The police tried to get Lina to talk about it and to see if she remembered anything but she was only but a child and had no recollection of the incident that led to her pregnancy. The police had to close the case as there was no evidence or leads.
An Ancient Festival That Led To Sex
Luis Leon, the author of an article about the case in 1955 researched the possibilities of how a child would become pregnant. According to the article, many of the remote villages in Peru held regular ‘religious festivals’ that often led to group sex or even rape. It did involve minors and children. Since there was no DNA test at the time, and there was no evidence of who the father of the child was, Luis’s theory was the most believable explanation of what would have happened to Lina.
Since the case was so unique, it gained a lot of media attention. When the press pressured Lina’s parents, they revealed that Lina had started menstruating since she was just 3. Which meant Lina was going through precocious puberty. Since she was still very young, her pelvis had not expanded enough for her to deliver the baby vaginally. It was a risk for her to deliver the baby normally so the doctors delivered the baby via cesarean section.
A Baby Boy Was Born
It was highly plausible that the baby that Lina was going to deliver would be underdeveloped. Since she was still a child, her body could not have possibly been able to provide the nutrition that the baby would require. But somehow, miraculously, a healthy baby boy was born on 14th May 1939. The baby had a perfect weight of 2.7 kilograms and had all his fingers and toes.
The child was named Gerardo Medina, a name inspired by Lina’s doctor who first diagnosed the pregnancy and helped her through labor. Gerardo believed that Lina was his sister till he was 10 years old and he was later told that she was his mother. Lina’s parents wanted the kids to have a normal life. It was a good thing that they didn’t exploit Lina’s case and tried to make money out of it. Many scientists, doctors, and researchers wanted to study Lina and her child but Lina’s parents refused them even though the people offered them money.
Child Sexual Abuse Is Still A Problem
Lina married Raul in the 1970s and gave birth to her second son at the age of 39. Gerardo lived a happy healthy life as well but passed away in 1979 when he was 40 due to a bone marrow disease. People still can’t believe that a 5-year-old gave birth. But doctors have proved with x-rays and biopsies that were carried out on Lina that proved that the story is not a hoax and a child did get pregnant at such a young age and has no recollection of who the father is.
What’s more disturbing is that children are still being raped. There still are sick men and women, who are have sexual relationships with kids who have no knowledge of what is happening to them. More than 42 million children have faced sexual abuse in America alone. 1 out of 3 girls and 1 out of 5 boys have been sexually abused before they were 18. While 30% of these abuses are never even reported. Yes, these numbers are scary but the scarier part is that the world has become so unsafe for even children. Take care of your children and look out for who they interact with as 90% of the victims know their perpetrator. Never let any abuse go unreported. Take your time but report it, there are laws that will bring you justice.