It has been reported that on April 9th 2012, a 10 year old girl from Columbia gave birth to a healthy baby girl. This makes her one of the youngest mothers in recorded history.
The mother, remaining unnamed, is from Manaure, a town in the Columbian Department of La Guajira. She arrived at the hospital in horrible pain due to contractions. Reportedly, she delivered a 5 pound baby girl via caesarean section.
Experts say that a c-section for such a young mother is common. Young girls do not have a large enough pelvis to warrant delivering a baby by traditional methods. Also, extremely young mothers are at a higher risk for things such as high-blood pressure (pre-eclampsia), and their babies are also at risk due to growth restrictions.
All said, 10 year old bodies are not made for pregnancy. The body is not yet mature for such an event. The fact they some 10 year old girls are able to get pregnant is a different story. One that defies many peoples’ morals.
The mother is of a tribe of the Wayuu people, indigenous to northern Columbia. The age and specifics of the father are unknown. Police cannot press charges for rape due to the tribe’s jurisdiction over the matter.
The director of the hospital where the girl gave birth says that she has seen pregnancies from this tribe in young girls, but that this one was especially young. She described it as “shocking”.
Pregnancy can occur at any time a girl starts ovulating, or has her period. Some girls begin this phase earlier than others, but this is a time when the girls are so young that they should be playing with dolls or playing dress-up, the director says. The average girl doesn’t begin menstruating until 12 and a half, but that age is reducing over the years. Given the statistics, the chances of sexual encounter at that age are slim and even slimmer with a pregnancy.
The results of this case are startling. Even more startling, is that girls can get pregnant before their first period because ovulation precedes menstruation. Menstruation usually happens last in the puberty cycle for girls, after hair growth, breast developments and growth spurts. Women should be aware that if these things are happening to their daughters, they may be able to get pregnant.
There is now speculation amongst people as to whether or not the birth of this girl’s child is immoral. Just because the tribe has its own laws, does not mean that girls should be giving birth at 10, some say. Others are saying that to judge the mother is wrong. The tribe has its right to function however it sees fit. This is still an eye-opening situation.