Lina Medina

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Lina Medina
Lina Marcela Medina de Jurado

(1933-09-23) 23 September 1933 (age 90)[1]
Known forYoungest confirmed mother in history
SpouseRaúl Jurado (m. 1970s)

Lina Marcela Medina de Jurado (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈlina meˈðina]; born 23 September 1933)[1] is a Peruvian woman who became the youngest confirmed mother in history when she gave birth on 14 May 1939, aged five years, seven months, and 21 days.[1][2] Based on the medical assessments of her pregnancy, she was less than five years old when she became pregnant, which was possibly due to precocious puberty.[3]

Early life and development

Lina Medina was born in 1933 in Ticrapo, Castrovirreyna Province, Peru,[2] to parents Tiburelo Medina, a silversmith, and Victoria Losea.[4] She was one of nine children.[2]

Her parents took her to a hospital in Pisco at age five due to increasing abdominal size.[5] Doctors originally thought she had a tumor but then determined that she was in her seventh month of pregnancy. Dr Gerardo Lozada had specialists in Lima confirm the pregnancy.[1]

There was widespread interest in the case. The San Antonio Light newspaper in Texas reported in its 16 July 1939 edition that a Peruvian obstetrician and midwife association had demanded she be admitted to a national maternity hospital, and quoted reports in the Peruvian paper La Crónica that an American film studio had sent a representative "with authority to offer the sum of $5,000 to benefit the minor" in return for filming rights, but "we know that the offer was rejected".[6] The article noted that Lozada had made films of Medina for scientific documentation and had shown them while addressing Peru's National Academy of Medicine. Some of the films had fallen into a river on a visit to the girl's hometown, but enough remained to "intrigue the learned savants".[6]

Six weeks after the diagnosis, on 14 May 1939, Medina gave birth to a boy by caesarean section. She was 5 years, 7 months, and 21 days old,[1] the youngest person in history to give birth. The caesarean birth was necessitated by her small pelvis. The surgery was performed by Lozada and Dr Busalleu, with Dr Colareta providing anaesthesia. The doctors found she had fully mature sexual organs from precocious puberty.[2] Dr. Edmundo Escomel reported her case in the medical journal La Presse Médicale, including that her menarche had occurred at eight months of age, in contrast to previous reports that she had had regular periods since the age of three[1][7][8] or two and a half.[2]

Medina's son weighed 2.7 kg (6.0 lb; 0.43 st) at birth and was named Gerardo after her doctor. He was raised believing Medina to be his sister before finding out at age 10 that she was his mother.[1] After initially remaining with the family, Lozada was allowed to take custody of the son at Lozada's home in Lima. Subsequently, he employed Lina at his clinic in Lima (where she also resided), though Lina was only able to see her son occasionally.[9] Her son grew up healthy, but died in 1979 at the age of 40 from bone marrow disease.[1][10]

Identity of the father

According to Peruvian law, the mere fact of Medina's pregnancy meant that she had been raped at some point before her fifth birthday. Medina has never revealed the identity of the father nor the circumstances of her impregnation. Escomel suggests that she might not know herself, as she "couldn't give precise responses".[1] Lina's father was arrested on suspicion of child sexual abuse but released due to lack of evidence.[1]

Later life

In young adulthood, Medina worked as a secretary in the Lima clinic of Lozada, which gave her an education and helped put her son through high school.[11][12] She married and had a second son in 1972.[13] In 2002, she refused an interview with Reuters,[2] just as she had turned away many reporters in years past.[11]


Although it was speculated that the case was a hoax, a number of doctors over the years have verified it based on biopsies, X rays of the fetal skeleton in utero, and photographs taken by the doctors caring for her.[1][14][15]

There are two published photographs documenting the case. The first was taken around the beginning of April 1939, when Medina was seven and a half months into pregnancy. Taken from her left side, it shows her standing naked in front of a neutral backdrop. It is the only published photograph taken during her pregnancy.[16] Hers is a rare, well-documented case of extreme precocious pregnancy in a child under six.[2][8]

See also



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Mikkleson, David (7 February 2015). "Youngest Mother". Snopes. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Six decades later, world's youngest mother awaits aid". The Telegraph. Kolkata. 27 August 2002. Archived from the original on 22 July 2009. Retrieved 14 July 2009.
  3. ^ "Raped 5 year-old Peruvian is world's youngest mum". P.M. News. 2 July 2020. Archived from the original on 27 December 2022. Retrieved 12 April 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  4. ^ Elgar Brown (for Chicago Evening American). "American scientists await U.S. visit of youngest mother: Peruvian girl and baby will be exhibited". San Antonio Light, 11 July 1939, page 2A.
  5. ^ "5-Year-Old Gives Birth: 14 May 1939". History Channel Australia. Archived from the original on 16 April 2019. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  6. ^ a b Elgar Brown (for Chicago Evening American). "Wide sympathy aroused by plight of child-mother: opportunity seen to make Lina independent". San Antonio Light, 16 July 1939, p. 4.
  7. ^ Janice Delaney; Mary Jane Lupton; Emily Toth (1988). The Curse: A Cultural History of Menstruation (2nd revised ed.). University of Illinois Press. p. 51. ISBN 0-252-01452-9. Archived from the original on 24 July 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  8. ^ a b Rodney P. Shearman (1985). Clinical reproductive endocrinology. Churchill Livingstone. p. 401. ISBN 0-443-02645-9. In a number of instances, precocious pregnancies at a very early age have been reported. The striking example is that of Lina Medina, who had a Caesarean section when 512 years old, but there have been other pregnancies in children aged 6, 7, 8 and 9 years (Sickel, 1946).
  9. ^ Leon, Luis (30 October 1955). "Caesarean at age 5: 'Witchcraft Mother,' Son Grow Up Quietly". Independent Press Telegram. p. A-4, col 2. Retrieved 25 September 2022.
  10. ^ Lincolins, Thiago (12 October 2019). "Grávida aos 5 anos: A trágica vida de Lina Medina" [Pregnant at 5: The Tragic Life of Lina Medina]. Aventuras na História (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 15 October 2019. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  11. ^ a b Leon, Luis (30 October 1955). "Caesarean at Age 5: 'Witchcraft Mother,' Son Grow Up Quietly". Independent Press Telegram. AP. Retrieved 10 January 2023 – via Internet Archive Digital Library.
  12. ^ Feldman, Robert (3 December 1955). "She became mother at five (thought she had a doll)". Perth Mirror. Retrieved 25 September 2022 – via Trove.
  13. ^ "On this day In History: May 14, 1939 – The youngest 'mother' was born". Free Press Journal. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
  14. ^ The Journal of Medical-physical Research: A Journal of Progressive Medicine and Physical Therapies, Volumes 15–16. American Association for Medico-Physical Research. 1941. p. 188. Lina Medina... Dear Dr. Eales: 'We are pleased to give you permission to publish the story of Lina Medina' ... An x-ray examination revealed a foetal skeleton and left no doubt as to a positive uterine gestation.
  15. ^ Ashley Montagu (1979). The reproductive development of the female: a study in the comparative physiology of the adolescent organism. PSG Publishing Company. p. 137. ISBN 0-88416-218-4.
  16. ^ "La Plus Jeune Mère du Monde". La Presse Médicale. 47 (43): 875. 31 May 1939. Archived from the original on 27 March 2017.


  • Escomel, Edmundo (13 May 1939). "La Plus Jeune Mère du Monde". La Presse Médicale. 47 (38): 744.
  • Escomel, Edmundo (31 May 1939). "La Plus Jeune Mère du Monde". La Presse Médicale. 47 (43): 875.
  • Escomel, Edmundo (19 December 1939). "L'ovaire de Lina Medina, la Plus Jeune Mère du Monde". La Presse Médicale. 47 (94): 1648.
  • "Five-and-Half-Year-old Mother and Baby Reported Doing Well". Los Angeles Times: 2. 16 May 1939.
  • "Physician Upholds Birth Possibility". Los Angeles Times: 2. 16 May 1939.
  • "American Surgeon Backs Up Story of Girl-Mother". Imperial Valley Press. p. 8 col 4. 18 May 1939.
  • "Indian Girl, 5, Becomes Mother; Both Resting Well". The Skyland Post (West Jefferson, N.C.). p. 5 col 5. 19 May 1939.
  • "U.S. Health Official Returns from Peru". The New York Times: 9. 15 November 1939.
  • "Mother, 5, to Visit Here". The New York Times: 21. 8 August 1940.
  • "Wife of Peruvian Envoy Arrives to Join Him Here". The New York Times: 8. 29 July 1941.
  • "The Mother Peru Forgot". The Hamilton Spectator. Spectator Wire Services: B4. 23 August 2002.