A 67-year-old grandmother from East China’s Shandong Province gave birth to a baby girl last week. With her 68-year-old husband, the couple may be the oldest to ever to have a naturally conceived baby in the country, according to state-run channel CCTV.
The woman — who has only been identified by her last name, Tian — gave birth to the girl at Zaozhuang Maternity and Child Health Hospital, CNN reported. Before retiring, Tian was a doctor at the same hospital.
A spokeswoman for the facility told the news station that Tian conceived the baby naturally and used traditional Chinese fertility treatments throughout the process.
“When we examined the woman’s reproductive system during her labor, we found that she, unlike most other women in their 60s who have withered ovaries, has ovaries similar to that of women in their 40s,” Liu Chengwen, a chief physician with the hospital, told CCTV. “That’s probably one of the reasons she was able to conceive naturally.”
But the pregnancy was not without complications, as Tian experienced heart failure and abnormal liver and kidney function as the due date approached.
She also developed preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication marked by high blood pressure in someone who doesn’t normally experience it. It can lead to sudden swelling in the face and hands and can cause fatal complications, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“We designed special therapeutic care and contingency plans, pulled together a team consisting of doctors from the internal medicine, surgical, obstetrics, nutritional and other departments to provide round-the-clock monitoring of the pregnant woman,” Liu told CCTV.
The baby was delivered via a cesarean section and weighed 5.6 pounds at the time of birth, the outlet added. Tian may be the oldest woman to ever give birth in the country, as the previous oldest woman was 64 when she gave birth.
Citing the Qilu Evening News, CNN reported that the woman’s 68-year-old husband, whose surname is Huang, told the outlet that the couple already have two children. They also have many grandchildren, the oldest of whom is 18 this year.
Tian told CCTV that the couple’s two children were opposed to the parents having a third child at their age.
“My daughter even said that if I gave birth to this little baby, she would sever all ties to us,” she told the station.
According to Mayo Clinic, women who become pregnant after the age of 35 are more likely to develop certain complications, such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and low birth-weight. The risk that they may lose the pregnancy is also higher.