How 5-year Old Lina Medina Became the Youngest Mother in History

Last Updated on May 16, 2023

Mothers are a gift to the world. What would we be without them? Today, we discuss one of the most intriguing mysteries ever – one that is connected to mothers. In May 1939, five-year-old Lina Medina from the town of Ticrapo in Peru made medical history when she became the youngest mother in the world. Lina was born with a condition called ‘precocious puberty,’ which caused her to develop sexually at an unusually early age.

When Lina was just five, she was taken to the hospital with what her parents thought was a stomach tumor. However, doctors discovered that she was actually seven months pregnant. Lina then gave birth to a healthy baby boy via cesarean section.

Imagine being five years older than your child. Incredible, right?

Although Lina’s story is an extraordinary one, she is not the only child to have given birth. There have been a handful of other cases of childbirth throughout history, though most of them have not been verified. Keep reading to learn more about Lina Medina, the youngest mother in history.

Lina Medina is the world’s youngest mother in medical history. At the time of delivery, she was 5 years, 7 months, and 17 days old. Source: RareHistorical photos com
Lina Medina is the world’s youngest mother in medical history. Source: RareHistorical photos com

Who Is Lina Medina – the Youngest Mother Ever?

Lina Medina was born in 1933 in Ticrapo, Castrovirreyna Province, Peru. And she was the ninth child of her parents, silversmith Tiburelo Medina and Victoria Losea. Upon discovery of Lina Medina’s protruded tummy, her mother rushed her to the hospital. On their arrival, Paediatricians were caught off guard by Medina’s case. The case also received international attention that she and her family did not want. Medina and her family continued to avoid publicity and any chance for a tell-all interview. And they have never revealed the identity of the father to the authorities. Thus, the case of the youngest mother in the world remains a mystery.

How Did Lina Medina Get Pregnant?

Lina’s mother brought her to the hospital in Pisco, Peru, in April 1939 to seek assistance from renowned Dr. Gerardo Lozada. The poor mom, who resided in the remote Andean community of Ticrapo, had observed her daughter’s expanding tummy and was concerned. Given that Lina’s tummy appeared to have some kind of strange growth, her mother thought that demonic spirits had possessed her small daughter’s body. On the other hand, Dr. Lozada assumed right away after meeting Lina that it had to be a sizable abdominal tumor.

Lina Medina, the youngest mother in history was 5 years, 7 months, and 17 days at the time of delivery. Source: Rare Historical Photos
Lina Medina, the youngest mother in history, was 5 years, 7 months, and 17 days at the time of delivery. Source: Rare Historical Photos

But the doctor didn’t conclude at his suspicion. He rather gave the five-year-old a more proper examination in order to confirm his suspicions. During his examination, Dr. Lozada was surprised to hear a heartbeat clearly. The child was carrying a baby.

The girl was then taken by Dr. Lozada to Lima, the country’s capital, where she saw other doctors so he could ensure and verify his findings. Interestingly, the findings proved positive. Lina Medina was a child who was seven months pregnant.

Everyone who looked into Medina’s condition was undoubtedly surprised, but among pediatric endocrinologists, it wasn’t completely unbelievable. Precocious puberty affects about one in every 10,000 children, and Medina was one of those children.

What is Precocious Puberty?

Precocious puberty is the onset of puberty in girls before the age of 8 and in boys before the age of 9.

According to studies, about ten times as many girls as boys go through this process. And there are grounds to believe that early sex can hasten it. Puberty comprises the development of the body’s reproductive system, the rapid growth of the bones and muscles, and changes in body size and structure. All these are truly meant to manifest in adolescents preparing for adulthood. But children with precocious puberty get to experience this before they get to the normal stage of puberty.

Precocious Puberty Source Meduweb com
Precocious Puberty. Source: Meduweb com

In Lina Medina’s case, Dr. Edmundo Escomel wrote in a medical publication that she had her first menstruation when she was only eight months old. Other publications, however, stated that she started having periods when she was three years old. In any case, both ages are extremely shocking.

Further examination of 5-year-old Medina revealed that she had advanced (that is, post-pubescent) bone growth, breast development, and wider-than-normal hips.

However, she was still unmistakably a small child, even though her physique was already developing at an early stage.

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When Lina Medina Became the Youngest Mother in History

Then, on May 14, 1939, Lina Medina gave birth to her first child, making history’s youngest mother ever at the age of five years, seven months, and three weeks. She gave birth to a boy who was 2.7 kg and in good health. It was a new development in medical history.

The infant was delivered via Caesarean section because the young mother’s pelvis was too weak to support natural birth. The fact that everything went smoothly and both the mother and the kid were healthy was a far greater surprise. The baby boy was then named Gerardo in honor of Dr. Gerardo Lozada, the medical professional who handled her unique case.

Gerardo was named after Dr. Gerardo Lozada for his impact in Medina's pregnancy and delivery
Gerardo was named after Dr. Gerardo Lozada for his impact in Medina’s pregnancy and delivery. Source: Rare Historical Photos

Who Was the Father of Lina Medina’s Baby?

We accept the case of Precocious puberty being a major lead to Lina Medina’s childbirth. But, what we would not accept is that there is no father. So, no man impregnated her? That definitely would not be possible. Well, here is a mystery that has not yet been uncovered till date.

Medina never disclosed the identity of the father or the specifics of the incident that resulted in her pregnancy to her medical professionals or the investigators. But given her age, it’s possible that she didn’t even know herself.

According to one of the doctors that attended to Medina’s case, Dr. Escomel, Medina “couldn’t give precise responses” when she was questioned about her father. Her father, Tiburelo, was briefly detained on suspicion of raping Medina. However, when it was discovered that there were no supporting evidence or witness accounts, he was freed, and the accusations against him were dismissed. Tiburelo, on his part, vehemently denied ever raping his daughter.

Lina Medina, the youngest mother in history, with her 2 year old son and her baby doll Source Rare Historical Photos
Lina with her 2 year old son and her baby doll. Source: Rare Historical Photos

In the years that followed the birth, numerous news organizations speculated that Medina might have been attacked during some celebrations that were held close to her town. This, however, was never validated.

Lina Medina’s Adulthood

Throughout Lina’s adolescent years, doctor Lozada continued to provide for the young mother and her son by hiring her as an office assistant and paying her a wage. She was, therefore, able to pursue her own education as well as that of her son, Gerardo.

In the early 1970s, Lina Medina later married a man called Raul Jurado and gave birth to her second son with him while she was in her 30s. Medina and Jurado were still married and residing in a low-income area of Lima in 2002.

Given her lifelong dislike of the spotlight and the prying eyes of outsiders on the youngest mother in history, Medina has largely stayed quiet. Because, who knows? Her life might have been a living hell if she had consented to the media’s offers. There have been no reports of death, and as of the time of writing, Lina Medina is in her late 80s.

Lina Medina or Her Family Never Told Their Story

When the news of Lina Medina’s pregnancy spread, it attracted interest from all around the globe. Newspapers in Peru attempted to pay the Medina family hundreds of dollars for the chance to film and interview Lina, but they were unsuccessful. In the meantime, American newspapers had a field day covering the story and even tried to interview the youngest mother ever. Unfortunately, all efforts proved abortive.

Even offers to pay the family to travel to the United States were made. But Medina and her family chose not to make a public statement.

Gerardo grew up thinking that his mother was his sister.
Gerardo grew up thinking that his mother was his sister.

Is Medina’s Story True?

Given Medina’s condition and her resistance to examination, it was likely inevitable that some observers would claim her family made up the entire story.

However, this appears unlikely to be the case given that more than 80 years have passed already. And regardless of the fact that both Medina and her family have refrained from trying to profit from the story, adequate documentation of her pregnancy-related health issues can be found in old medical records.

Also, only two pictures of Medina during her pregnancy are known to have been taken. One of those, a low-resolution profile photo, was the only one ever made public outside of the medical literature. Additionally, her case file includes several reports from the medical professionals who treated her. It also contains precisely defined X-rays of her abdomen, revealing the growing fetus’s internal bones. Blood tests also proved that she was pregnant. Additionally, a peer review of every paper that was published in the literature was successful.

Medina has turned down every request for an interview. She continued to shun the media, declining interviews with both national and local newspapers. And it appears that Medina’s dislike of the spotlight hasn’t changed over time. No one even knows the current whereabouts of the Peruvian.

Although there have been other documented cases of young girls giving birth, none is or was as young as Lina. Lina’s case is significant because she remains the youngest mother in history to date.

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