A 65-year-old woman from Bnei Brak, located east of Tel Aviv, has become the oldest woman in Israel to give birth.

Haya Shahar gave birth to a healthy 2.68kg baby boy through cesarean section on 18 May at the Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba.

Shahar who has been married for 46 years to 67-year-old Shmuel was unable to have a baby until now, reported the Jerusalem Post.

The couple opted for in-vitro fertilization (IVF) with a third party sperm –donated or purchased, it remains unknown.

Dr. Tal Biron, a gynecologist at the Kfar Saba hospital said: "We do not recommend this. It is illegal to perform in-vitro fertilization on a woman of this age, and it is dangerous.

"There are many possible complications. Pregnancy is an unnecessary burden on the mother's body."

Performing IVF on a woman aver 54 is considered illegal in Israel.

Persistence pays off

Nevertheless, Dr. Biron was glad it all went for the couple, who were finally blessed with their first child.

"We were very excited during the delivery. I have no doubt she will be an excellent mother. She is a very special person. The baby is very cute," said Dr. Biron.

Shahar and her husband, who have been trying for years to have a baby, credited their rabbi who blessed them some three years ago to have a successful pregnancy.

According to Dr. Biron, Shahar first visited the hospital in her 12<sup>th week of pregnancy and since then had weekly appointments at the high-risk pregnancy outpatient clinic.

"She underwent ultrasound scans and all other necessary tests," said Dr. Biron said.

"She always cooperated and never complained. Her message to Israel after the operation was 'Never give up.'"

The most fertile years for women to get pregnant are in their 20s. Fertility is known to decrease from 30 onwards posing significant risks of miscarriage or an abnormality with the baby as the age ticks away.

At present, the oldest mother is believed to be Maria del Carmen Bousada de Lara who gave birth to twins through IVF with donor eggs at the age of 66 years and 358 days.

The oldest mother to naturally conceive who is also listed in the Guinness World Records is believed to be Dawn Brooke from the UK who gave birth to a son at 59 in 1997.