PMB Woman gives birth at 55

2007-11-27 00:00

Create Africa South (CAS), a website on motherhood, says menopause usually takes place between 40 and 50 years of age.

Dingalibala said she does not want another baby, but has to accept it.

She has two other children aged 25 and 19. She says she has not used birth control since giving birth in 1988.

When The Witness visited Dingalibala at her France home yesterday she recounted her labour. She said she sent one of her children to call an ambulance when her contractions started in the morning.

She tried to bath but her labour pains worsened and she gave birth to a baby boy. “This happened in full view of my 18-month-old grandson,” she said.

She sent for a razor blade so she could cut the baby’s umbilical cord, bathed the baby and waited for the ambulance.

The family live in abject poverty without a basic income grant. Dingalibala said she applied for an indigent pension grant several years ago to no avail. Her 56-year-old partner is also sick.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do since I have no income and the baby’s father is also an ill person who suffers from tuberculosis and is unemployed. Our neighbours often give us food in exchange for labour,” she said.

Health Department spokesman Leon Mbangwa encouraged the family’s relatives, friends and community to support the parents as much as they can.

“I also hope that the public and business owners will come on board to assist the family,” he said.

He encouraged the family to persevere as the child is blessed with mature parents with much life and parenting experience.

“We’re often concerned about the maturity of young mothers aged 15 and 16 years old, but this child will be well nurtured,” he said.

Mbangwa was unable to give details on other older mothers who have given birth in the province.

In 2005, Adriana Iliescu, a 66-year-old Romanian mother, gave birth to a baby girl in a Bucharest hospital. In March, 60-year-old Frieda Birnbaum gave birth to twins in the U.S., after having in-vitro fertilisation in Cape Town last year.

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