At 65, hassidic woman from Bnei Brak becomes oldest in Israel to give birth

Meir Medical Center doctor who performed C-section advises against "dangers" of late, illegal IVF.

By
May 18, 2015 16:53
1 minute read.
pregnant woman

A pregnant woman. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Haya Shahar, a 65-year-old hassidic woman from Bnei Brak who was unable to have a baby during her 46-year marriage to 67-year-old Shmuel, gave birth on Monday to a healthy baby boy by cesarean section at Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba.

It made her the oldest woman in Israel to give birth – not far behind the world record holder, Spain’s Maria del Carmen Bousada de Lara, who was a few days shy of 67 when she gave birth to twins.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Shahar’s 2.68-kg. baby was produced by in-vitro fertilization (IVF) with donated or purchased sperm – the hospital would not disclose exactly, although it might have been from Russia. It is illegal in Israel to perform IVF on a woman over 54.

“We do not recommend this,” emphasized Dr. Tal Biron, an obstetrician/ gynecologist at the Kfar Saba hospital.

“It is illegal to perform in-vitro fertilization on a woman of this age, and it is dangerous,” she explained. “There are many possible complications. Pregnancy is an unnecessary burden on the mother’s body.”

But Biron added that “we were very excited during the delivery. I have no doubt she will be an excellent mother. She is a very special person. The baby is very cute.”


The risk of pregnancy complications increases as the mother’s age increases. Risks connected with childbearing over the age of 50 include an increased incidence of gestational diabetes, hypertension, delivery by cesarean section, miscarriage, preeclampsia and placenta previa (placenta too low in the uterus).

In comparison to mothers between 20 and 29 years of age, mothers over 50 are at almost three times the risk of low birth weight, premature birth and extremely premature birth. Their risk of extremely low birth weight, small size for gestational age and fetal mortality is almost double.

The Shahars, who were extremely grateful to hospital doctors and nurses, credited their rabbi’s blessing three years ago for the success of the pregnancy.

Biron said Haya Shahar presented herself at her department during her 12th week of pregnancy and visited the high-risk pregnancy outpatient clinic weekly, with no need for a long hospitalization.

“She underwent ultrasound scans and all other necessary tests,” Biron said. “She always cooperated and never complained. Her message to Israel after the operation was ‘Never give up.’”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Members of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors pray at the egalitarian section of the Western Wall,
December 16, 2018
Renovation for egalitarian section at Western Wall expected to be approved

By JEREMY SHARON