"....The number of women giving birth into their 40s and 50s and beyond is at record highs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2007, 105,071 women aged 40-44 gave birth, the highest rate since 1968; the birth rate for women 45 to 54 was 7,349, an increase of 5% in just one year.
“The numbers have really skyrocketed over the last two decades, as research has increasingly shown that older women are able to carry pregnancies and deliver babies safely,” says Mark Sauer, MD, chief of reproductive endocrinology at Columbia University Medical Center and a leading researcher in this field.
There’s no official data on how many American women over the age of 54 successfully give birth each year, although there have been plenty of news reports of women in their late 50s and early 60s who have conceived via donor eggs. While older moms have long been the source of biblical legend (think of Sarah, who is said to have given birth to her husband Abraham’s son Isaac at the jaw-dropping age of 90), right now the oldest documented birth mother in the world is Omkari Panwar, a 70-year-old Indian woman who gave birth to 2-pound twins in 2008 via emergency cesarean section.
But the United States has had its share of 60-plus new moms, too, including Frieda Birnbaum of Saddle River, New Jersey, who in 2007 at age 60 set the record for the oldest woman in the country to give birth to twins. (A 62-year-old, Janise Wulf, gave birth to a singleton in 2006.)...
"...Birnbaum was not concerned by the fact that she would be 80 when her twin boys attend college. "My parents both lived on into their 90s," she said. "My father was 92; my mother was 89. They were mentally sound. And they'd both be alive [today] if not for medical negligence. So we've had no problems with that decision, as far as longevity is concerned."
She said she and her husband wanted their 6 ½-year-old boy to have siblings of a comparable age. (They have two older children — a son, 33, and a daughter, 29).
Coincidentally, Tuesday was the birthday of twins born one year ago to a 59-year-old woman — also to a New Jersey woman. Lauren Cohen gave birth to Gregory and Giselle on May 22, 2006, at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia..."
MADRID - A Spanish woman who deceived a U.S. fertility clinic about her age and become the oldest woman to give birth has died at 69, leaving behind 2-year-old twins, newspapers reported Wednesday.
Maria del Carmen Bousada gave birth in December 2006 after telling a clinic in Los Angeles that she was 55, the facility's maximum age for single women receiving in-vitro fertilization. Guinness World Records said the 66-year-old was the oldest on record to give birth and the case ignited fierce debate over how much responsibility fertility clinics have over their patients.
Bousada told an interviewer at the time that the Pacific Fertility Center did not ask her for identification, and maintained that because her mother had died at 101, she stood a good chance of living long enough to raise her children.
Dr. Vicken Sahakian, director and owner of the clinic, said Bousada falsified her birth date on documents from Spain.
When he learned of the deception, "I figured something might happen and wind up being a disaster for these kids, and unfortunately I was right," he said.
It's easy for women to lie to their doctors, he said.
"We don't ask for passports, obviously," Sahakian said. "When is the last time you went to a doctor and he asked you for a birth certificate? We're not detectives here."
Bousada's brother told the local newspaper Diario de Cadiz that she had died but he did not disclose the cause. The newspaper said, without citing a source, that Bousada had been diagnosed with a tumor shortly after giving birth.
Sahakian said he implanted the Spanish woman with a younger woman's eggs and donated sperm, using hormones to "rejuvenate" her uterus with hormone therapy after she had been in menopause for 18 years.
The hormone treatment lasted three weeks. Sahakian said he did not believe that increased the woman's cancer risk.
"Nothing she did (to get pregnant) caused her illness," he said.
The brother, Ricardo Bousada, told the Barcelona-based newspaper El Periodico de Catalunya that he had exclusively sold details of his sister's death to an unidentified television program and that the proceeds would go to looking after his sister's twin boys, Pau and Christian.
Repeated calls by The Associated Press to Ricardo Bousada's residence in the southern province of Cadiz went unanswered. A woman who answered the phone at a number listed for another brother, Jose Luis Bousada, declined to comment. Her death was also reported by the national newspapers El Mundo
There was no word on who would raise the twins. Bousada had once said she would look for a younger man to help her raise them.
Bousada lived with her mother most of her life in Cadiz and worked in a department store before retiring. She decided to have children after her mother died in 2005 and initially kept her plan secret from her family, she told reporters.
She told the British tabloid News of the World that she sold her house to raise $59,000 to pay for the in-vitro fertilization.
"I think everyone should become a mother at the right time for them," Bousada told the paper. "Often circumstances put you between a rock and a hard place, and maybe things shouldn't have been done in the way they were done, but that was the only way to achieve the thing I had always dreamed of, and I did it," she said.
Spanish law on assisted reproduction sets no age limit, but state-funded and private clinics that offer the procedure set the ceiling at age 50 in an informal agreement based on recommendations from the scientific community, according to the Health Ministry.
There is no U.S. law limiting the age at which women can receive in vitro fertilization but Sahakian said he generally limits it to 55 or 56 because "I would like the mother ... to basically survive until the kids reach 18."
When Bousada finally told her relatives she was two months pregnant, they thought she was joking, she said.
"Yes, I am old of course, but if I live as long as my mom did, imagine, I could even have grandchildren," she told the News of the World.
Allan Pacey, secretary of the British Fertility Society, said the organization recommends that assisted conception generally not be provided to women beyond the natural age of menopause at about 50.
"The rationale for all that is that nature didn't design women to have assisted conception beyond the age of the natural menopause...once you get into the mid-50s, I think nature is trying to tell us something," Pacey told The AP.
Read more: www.nydailynews.com/news/world/spanish-woman-gave-birth-twins-66-dies-69-article...