65-year-old Hassidic woman becomes oldest in Israel to give birth


A 65-year-old Hassidic became the oldest woman in Israel to have a baby.

The Jerusalem Post reports that Haya Shahar gave birth to a healthy baby boy by cesarean section on Monday. Shahar got pregnant with the help of in-vitro fertilization.

Dr. Tal Biron, an obstetrician at the Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba where the birth took place, said having an IVF pregnancy at Shahar’s age is a huge risk.

“We do not recommend this,” Biron told The Post.

The Jerusalem Post reports that it is illegal to perform IVF on a woman over the age of 54 in Israel. It is believed the sperm was donated or purchased, but the hospital would not say.

“It is illegal to perform in-vitro fertilization on a woman of this age, and it is dangerous,” Biron told The Post. “There are many possible complications. Pregnancy is an unnecessary burden on the mother’s body.”

Despite the risk, Biron stated that the delivery went well.

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

It was the first child for Haya and Shmuel Shahar in their 46-year marriage.

Statistics from the U.S. National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland, reveals that the approximate chance of a woman aged 41 or over giving birth to a live baby after IVF is between 13 and 18 percent.