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Last Updated: Monday, 23 February, 2004, 18:37 GMT
64-year-old woman delivers baby
Pregnant woman
A 64 year old woman has given birth to a healthy baby boy
A 64-year-old woman in India has given birth to a test tube baby, it is reported, becoming one of the world's oldest first-time mothers.

The baby boy, weighing only 1.75 kilos, was born to Papathiammal Subramaniam and her 74-year-old farmer husband.

Mrs Subramaniam went through menopause around 20 years ago, so doctors used the donated egg of a 30-year-old relative with the husband's sperm.

The baby is currently in an incubator and being monitored closely.

The mother had the baby via caesarian section at Maruthi Medical Centre in Erode, a small town 500 kilometres from Madras in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

No complications

Despite their age, the couple had no previous children in their 47 years of marriage.

Although Papathiammal suffers age-related diabetes and hypertension, the pregnancy and birth went smoothly.

Obstetrician Nirmala Sadasivam used the blastocyst method of invitro fertilisation, where the embryo is developed for five days in a laboratory instead of three.

This is supposed to reduce the risk of multiple births.

Chairman of the Maruti Medical Centre, M.N. Sadasivam, told AFP both mother and child are doing well.

"The child, delivered after nine months of pregnancy and weighing a little less than normal at 1.75 kilos (3.85 pounds), is incubated safely," he said.

Mrs Subramaniam is very nearly the oldest woman on record to give birth, the oldest being a 65 year old Indian woman.

Satyabhama Mahapatra gave birth to a healthy three kilo boy, also by caesarean section, in April last year.

She was able to give birth through IVF, using her husband's sperm and an embryo from her 26 year old neice.

Other record-holders include a 63 year old Italian in 1997 and a 58 year old Indian from Bombay.

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