A Chinese pensioner has successfully given birth to a boy at the age of 61.
The baby, weighing 2,930 grams (103 ounces), was born at 39 weeks during a C-section in eastern China’s Zhejiang Province on June 27, reported People’s Daily Online.
The mother, 61, surnamed Zhang, decided to try for another baby after her only child died of illness, leaving her heart-broken. The news emerged two months after an Indian pensioner, Daljinder Kaur, gave birth to her first baby at the age of 70 in the state of Haryana, northern India.
Zhang was devastated after her daughter passed away aged 30, according to Chinese media. The pensioner longed for a new family and her 66-year-old husband supported her idea of having another baby. After seeking doctor’s advice from different hospitals, the 61-year-old was successfully conceived last November through IVF treatment. Upon hearing the good news, Zhang went to the Women’s Hospital of Zhejiang University in Hangzhou to prepare for her labour.
When Zhang showed up for her antenatal appointment for the first time, the doctors and nurses thought she was accompanying her daughter or daughter-in-law. They were later stunned to discover Zhang was the mother.
Doctor He Jing, a supervisor at the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, said: ‘She is the oldest expectant mother our hospital has received since its founding. ‘I’ve performed many C-sections over the years, and she is the first patient who is older than me.’
Due to Zhang’s age, pregnancy was a challenge. The mother was hospitalised twice due to bleeding, the first time at 28 weeks and the second time at 33 weeks. She also experienced complications in the heart, lungs and kidneys as the organs were weakening at her age. On June 23, five departments at the hospital joined forces to plan the C-section operation.
Four days later, Zhang successfully gave birth to a healthy boy with the help of doctors from the departments of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Anaesthesia, Intensive Care Unit, General Medicine and Neonatal. Zhang is currently recovering in the hospital and is in a stable condition.
She told a reporter emotionally: ‘Doctor He is the savior of me and my son.’
China operated a mandatory one-child policy for more than 30 years between 1980 and 2016. It’s becoming a social issue for aging parents in the country to cope with life when their only child passes away. This is because Chinese pensioners rely heavily on their children to support them both mentally and financially. Many think raising a child is the only way for them to have a stable retirement. Currently, there are about 660,000 such families in China, with 41 per cent of them living in rural areas, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. These families receive a monthly subsidiary of up to 340 Yuan (£39) from the government. China abolished the mandatory one-child police on January 1, 2016.