It’s striking when a minor gets pregnant; It wasn’t that long ago that it was a relatively normal thing, but it’s now considered a rarity, at least in Western countries.
The truth is that many young mothers, despite the complexity of the problem, are making progress, also thanks to the goodwill of their parents, who often support them in this difficult time.
But while we find it odd that someone could be a mother at 14 or 15, more surprising is the case we’ll discuss in this article: The world’s youngest mother is only five, according to the New York Times. Below we will see its history and the steps to be taken to protect minors in this regard.
Lina Medina: a mother of only 5 years old
While infant pregnancies are common 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 five-year-old Peruvian Lina Medina had a son in 1939. When the girl complained of severe stomach pain, no one imagined the reason.
The minor was taken by her mother to the hospital because her stomach started to grow large and visible. At first, the doctors thought he had a tumor, so in the end he was only five years old. After tests on Lina, doctors diagnosed that she was seven months pregnant. A few weeks later, on May 14, 1939, she gave birth to a man who weighed 6 pounds, and who would later name Gerardo in honor of a 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.
Can a 5 year old girl get pregnant?
How can such a little girl have a child? You also have to wonder if Lina was physically mature enough to get pregnant.
And it is that the age of the first period is the result of the combination of several factors (genetics, nutrition, physical activity, etc.). However, the best health and food products have come a long way over the past decades, which is why the age of this first period has advanced compared to the previous generation. Currently, the average age at which it first appears is 12.5 years, May 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 years old.
So how could Lina have a child? The doctor found that even though the little girl was 5 years old, her sexual organs were mature enough to be a mother. This is what in medicine we are talking about precocious puberty.
Who’s the father?
There are surely more doubts in the mind of the reader when reading this article. Well, at the time it was assumed that the father could have been responsible for the pregnancy of his own daughter, and within days he was arrested.
But since there was no proof of his guilt, he was released by the police shortly 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 growing up thinking her mother was her sister. The idea that he had had so few years with his mother could have caused the stigma that socially it could be built at any time would haunt them both, so it was hidden. It wasn’t until she was 10 that she was told that Lina was her mother. Gerardo grew up healthy but died at the age of 40 from bone disease. Her mother is still alive today.
What to do in these cases?
The existence of pregnant minors it is a symptom of the lack of protection that many young people suffer from, In some cases, be at risk within their own family. These cases demonstrate the need for well-prepared and resourceful social services, as well as legislation allowing selective action in such cases to improve the quality of life of these girls and adolescents.
A cultural change is also needed which leads to not to stigmatize these young people and to blame for everything that happened to them, as well as a social conscience that leads them not to assume as normal cases of clandestine rape or sexual abuse in a false mutual agreement.
On the other hand, psychotherapeutic care is also often needed to address issues related to education, self-esteem protection, and family conflict management that child pregnancies often trigger.
Underage pregnancies in Spain
Underage pregnancies also occur in Spain. In 2008, the National Institute of Statistics (INE) conducted a study to determine how many underage mothers were born that year. Their results concluded that 178 girls under the age of 15 were mothers.
Her data also revealed that since the 1990s, motherhood of girls under 15 it has not gone from 80 cases per year. Also, it should be remembered that many underage girls who become pregnant abort, so the true figure is estimated to rise to at least 500 pregnancies per year.
The case of the youngest birth in Spain is 10 years old. The mother gave birth to her baby in Jerez, according to the newspaper El País.