On Monday at a private hospital in Melbourne a 63-year-old woman entered the maternity ward.
Accompanied by her 78-year-old husband the woman wasn’t a proud grandmother visiting her first grandchild, nor an excited aunt ready to celebrate a new birth.
This woman was giving birth and as she did the woman made history.
A 63-year-old woman gave birth to a daughter. Via IStock
As she underwent a caesarean section at 34 weeks pregnant to give birth to her first child the woman officially became oldest mother in Australia. At the age of 63 the woman gave birth to a daughter and ignited, once again, the debate over older mothers and what the cut off age for IVF treatment should be in Australia.
Seven News reported that the woman, a Tasmanian, gave birth at Frances Perry House private hospital in Parkville on August 1 supported by her 78-year-old partner.
The couple is reported to have conceived their daughter through IVF overseas, using a donor embryo after several failed in-vitro fertilisation attempts.
The mother and baby are reported to be doing well and will remain at Frances Perry House until she and her daughter are strong enough to head home to Tasmania.
The woman is Australia’s oldest woman to give birth, she beats the previous record by three years held by a Gold Coast woman who gave birth in 2010 at the age of 60.
The unnamed couple are from Tasmania. Image via Seven News.
But far from celebrating the medical advances that make such births possible IVF experts have criticised the use of a procedure in a woman of her age saying it is “irresponsible.”
Monash University professor Gab Kovacs told The Mercury that responsible IVF clinics refused treatments of women over the age of 53, saying that is the “end of natural pregnancy.”
“That child will need looking after for 20 years, and there’s a possibility she won’t be able to do that."
“Our bodies weren’t designed to have children in our 60s. I don’t think any responsible IVF unit in Australia would treat someone of that age, and it’s not a standard of medicine I would condone.”