In Colombia, a 10-year-old girl has given birth to a healthy five pound baby girl, which makes her one of the youngest mothers in history.
According to Univision’s Primer Impacto, the girl (who has not been named) arrived at the hospital in tears and suffering “enormous pain” caused by the contractions. She reportedly delivered her daughter by cesarean section. A C-section delivery for a very young mother is not unusual according to experts.
Dr. Kimberly Gecsi, an OB/GYN at UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland, said, “The baby’s head needs to come through a bony outlet. But in a young girl, the pelvis may not be ready or big enough to deliver a baby .”
According to Dr. Frederick Gonzalez, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Langone Medical Center, extremely young mothers also have a higher risk of preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced high blood pressure). Their babies are also at risk for fetal growth restriction.
Gonzalez said, “These girls are not ready to be pregnant. Their bodies are not mature…They may be able to get pregnant, but being able to have a baby is a whole other situation.”
The new mom is from Manaure, a town in the Colombian Department of La Guajira. She is a member of the Wayuu people, a tribe in northern Colombia. Local reports say the father’s age is not known, but police are unable to press charges because the tribe has its own jurisdiction.
Efraín Pacheco Casadiego, director of the hospital where the girl gave birth, reported to RCN La Radio noticias, “We’ve already seen several cases [of pregnancy] in girls of the Wayuu ethnicity…When in fact [the girls] should be playing with dolls, they are having to care for a baby. This is shocking.”
Girls are starting to ovulate at younger and younger ages, and pregnancy can occur as soon as ovulation begins, even before menstruation begins.
Gecsi said, “The average age girls in the country start menstruating is about 12 and a half, but that age keeps dropping…Typically, menstruation is the last thing that happens in puberty.”