The Most Amazing Human Reproductive Records

Updated on July 20, 2017
Theophanes profile image

Theophanes is a New England-based blogger, traveler, writer, photographer, sculptor, and lover of life.

You can blame the English for the baby-carrying stork. In the Middle Ages they noticed their storks left on a migratory journey for nine months out of the year. Did they bring back human babies on their return? Well, only you can decide on that one!
You can blame the English for the baby-carrying stork. In the Middle Ages they noticed their storks left on a migratory journey for nine months out of the year. Did they bring back human babies on their return? Well, only you can decide on that one!

When it comes to family planning most people don't think too far outside the box. In fact if you ask a random person on the street a basic question like, "At what age can a woman get pregnant for the first time?" you'll likely hear the same answer, "Some time in her teens?" Although this is normally the case there's a lot of anomalies out there that can shock, scandalize, or intrigue. Below are just some of the cases of very special women, men, and families who have found themselves in the record book. Enjoy!

Historically speaking living on a farm generally meant that wives had to do the domestic chores while conceiving and delivering as many babies as their body could muster.
Historically speaking living on a farm generally meant that wives had to do the domestic chores while conceiving and delivering as many babies as their body could muster.

The More the Merrier!

With all the controversy surrounding "Octo-mom" you might think that having a set of eight babies is the record but you'd be mistaken! In fact these large families are real eye openers on the subject!

· Most Multiples Born at once: When it comes to large families Australia and Malaysia know where it's at! On June 13, 1971 an Australian family by the name of Broderick witnessed the arrival of five sons and four daughters making this a multiple birth of nunuplets (nine babies in all!) However this was the 1970s and such births were rare and the medical knowledge for caring for them was just as poor. Two sons were stillborn and the longest surviving bundle of joy died just six days after birth.

The only other recorded nunuplets greeted the world for the first time on March 26, 1999 in Malaysia. Their mother Mat Saad successfully gave birth to all of them without any still births but none of the babies lasted more than six hours.

· Most Natural Children Born to One Woman: Russia holds one very staggering record for what must have been one very tired woman! Since she lived in the 1700's and was a peasant so we know very little about her but her name was Valentina Vassilyeva and she had sixty-nine children including sixteen sets of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets. That would have accounted for no less than twenty seven pregnancies between 1725-1765. And the topping on this very large cake would be the fact that she somehow managed to only lose two in infancy during a time when infant mortality was very high. Her husband went onto to further fame after she died he married a second wife where he sired 18 more children bringing his personal record up to 87 children. What ever happened to Mrs. Vassilyeva we may never know but maybe somewhere out there she has a few hundred grandchildren who might have part of the story...

· Most Children Sired by One Father: Having to incubate a baby in your womb for nine months can really slow down the number of children you're capable of having but what if you were a man? How many children could you sire if you were say, the last Sharifan Emperor of Morrocco? Historians believe that Mulai Ismai holds this record, aided by no less than five hundred wives. When he died in 1727, at the age of 81, he was said to have left around eight hundred heirs. FWEW!

. Most Children Born to a Surrogate Mother: This is another one of those controversial cases. Why would anyone want to carry a stranger's baby? Although I can't answer this question Carole Horlocke probably can. She gave birth to triplets for one family but this wasn't enough. She would continue being a surrogate until she birthed twelve babies, none of which were her own.

. Most Prolific Sperm Donor: For thousands of years infertile couples had to either accept their lot in life or adopt. When sperm banks came into existence they had a new ray of hope, but when this medical practice was in it's infancy in the 1940s there wasn't a lot of restrictions, protocols, or regulations. Record keeping was often sketchy at best. A man by the name of Bertold Wiesner knew this and he decided at one point to use it to his advantage. He would often give couples sperm "from a man of slightly above-average intelligence." Years later when a lot of the babies started to look suspiciously like the good old doc' people started to ask questions. Although we can't tell for sure how many babies he sired using his own donations the estimates are anywhere between 300-600.



Babies are not all the same at birth - some are real record breakers like the 23 pound infant born though natural birth in 1879.
Babies are not all the same at birth - some are real record breakers like the 23 pound infant born though natural birth in 1879.

News Footage of Current Biggest Baby at Birth

Unique Infants

Sometimes it's not mom or dad getting all the publicity but their bundle of record breaking joy.

· World's "Oldest Baby" - Some women enjoy their pregnancies, but there are a whole lot of them that kvetch, "When is this baby coming out?! It feels like it's been in there forever!" All jokes aside the average pregnancy is 280 days, roughly nine months. Beulah Hunter got pregnant in March of 1944. Her period stopped, a pregnancy test came out positive, and everything was going well until nine months came and went and twenty-five year old Beulah remained pregnant. In fact three more months would go by before she gave birth to a perfectly normal baby weighing in at six pounds and 15 ounces. Her prenatal doctors said the pregnancy was normal but the baby had grown "exceptionally slowly" making her pregnancy possibly the only one to last all of a year, clocking in at 375 days.

· Worlds Biggest Newborn: Anna Bates was a woman already known for her unusually tall stature, standing over seven feet tall, so perhaps it's not surprising her baby took a record as well. In 1879 after an ungodly 36 hours of intense labor doctors literally pulled her 23 pound megababy out of her. Anna survived the ordeal but her baby only lived for eleven hours. She never had any more children.

· World's Tiniest Surviving Premature Baby: Medical technology has come a long way in taking care of premature babies. These early deliveries would often be considered doomed but now there's a lot of hope to be found in these cases. Still when Amillia Sonja Taylor was born doctors were cautious. She'd been born after only twenty two weeks of pregnancy. It was October 24, 2004 and she was just nine and a half inches long, a real paperweight as she didn't even make it to the ten ounce mark on the scale. She spent a good long time in the hospital, four months in all, but was released and survived to go home.


Sometimes the difference between parent and grandparent can be negligible especially with some record breakers like the world's youngest mom who gave birth at the age of 5.
Sometimes the difference between parent and grandparent can be negligible especially with some record breakers like the world's youngest mom who gave birth at the age of 5.

The Oldest and Youngest Parents

At the beginning of this article I asked how old a girl can be to get pregnant for the first time. Now I seek to ask the same of boys and to add an additional question, "How old can a parent be to have their last child?" These answers are some of the most shocking and controversial stories of our time so proceed with caution.

· Youngest Father on Record: What were you doing on your eleventh birthday? Playing with bugs? Reading Spider Man comics? Punching the girls for having cooties? Apparently little Sean Stewart was too old for such nonsense. He had a girlfriend, fifteen years of age, and they were together. Sean was only eleven years and one month old when he got his girlfriend pregnant. This exceptionally young British couple welcomed their new baby into the world on January 20, 1998 to a storm of likely unwanted publicity.

· Youngest Mother on Record: Perhaps one of our most tragic stories today goes to a Peruvian girl named Lina Medina. At five years of age, in 1939, she was gathered up and brought to a hospital far from her village because her family believed she had an abdominal tumor. Upon closer inspection doctors found the tiny five year old had fully developed breasts and had started having her periods when she was a mere three and a half years of age. And so, at five years of age, doctors performed a Cesarean section on her to get the baby out. Her tiny hips would have never been able to give birth otherwise. The family brought the baby home and raised it as little Lina Medina's brother, not son. No one was ever prosecuted for fathering such a child. Thirty three years later Lina gave birth to her only other child, also a son. Lina's story continues to intrigue and horrify. Although there's no way to tell for certain doctors today theorize she may have had a problem with her pituitary glands. This could have been the reason she experienced full hormonal puberty while she was still a toddler.

· Oldest Father on Record: This record goes to another Australian who probably believed you're never too old to have more children! He witnessed the birth of his last child when he was a puzzling ninety three years old. Les Colley was his name and he had been a miner in his youth. He got to see his child grow up a little but not too much as he passed away at the age of 100.

· Oldest Mother on Record: The field of medical fertility went a little awry when Maria del Carmen Bousada de Lara gave birth to twins on December 29, 2006. Why? Because with much help from fertility aids she managed to get pregnant when she was a sprightly sixty seven years old!

Some Record-Breaking Grandparents

So now we've gone over all the amazing record breaking moms and dads out there, and we've also seen some pretty impressive babies, but this still leaves one category open - the most record breaking grand parents. This takes multiple generations of effort and here they are in all their glory.

Youngest Grandfather - The life of a British boy by the name of Fale Wright was never going to be the same after his fourteen year old girlfriend gave him a son. Life went on and Fale did the best he could but he was astounded and probably partially horrified to take on the title of the world's youngest grandfather no less than fourteen years later when his son followed exactly in his father's footsteps. Fale was twenty-nine years old and not particularly amused.

Youngest Grandmother - In yet another disturbing turn of events the women in this category beat the boys once again, by a decade. How on earth is that possible? Well, it's possible because Mum-Zi of Nigeria was only seventeen when she took on the role of grandmother. She was one of the many women and girls who lived in a harem belonging to Chief Akkiri and apparently when you have power no one cares if you're a pedophile. The reason I say this is because Mum-Zi gave birth to her first daughter when she was only eight years and four months old. Her daughter then went on to follow in her mother's foot steps exactly giving poor Mum-Zi a grand baby only eight years later.

Most "greats" in a Grandparent - Augusta Bunge, a US citizen, held a world record when she witnessed seven living generations of her family meaning that her last grandson called her great-great-great-great-grandma. She was the youngest to carry on this seven generation title as she was only 109 and ninety seven days old when she saw this grandson born in January of 1989. Sarah Knauss holds the opposing record, also seeing seven generations, she's the oldest to do so at 119 years of age.

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Questions & Answers

    © 2009 Theophanes Avery

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      • profile image

        Kathryn Riley 

        8 months ago

        I hope all the other records are accurate but the oldest mother isn't. The Bible clearly states that Sarah was 90 when she had her child.

      • profile image

        taffdancer 

        14 months ago

        Do you know what is the longest natural posthumous birth which has ever taken place?

      • profile image

        Qwerty 

        22 months ago

        I don't understand why people are taking the abuse of children so lightly. The time and place have nothing to do with the fact that this abuse happened to young children.

      • Kristen Howe profile image

        Kristen Howe 

        3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

        My pleasure Theophanes. I agree. Pre-teens should be careful nowadays, when they have their period.

      • Theophanes profile imageAUTHOR

        Theophanes Avery 

        3 years ago from New England

        Thanks Kristen Howe! I don't know of that exact story but sadly I think it's one that might be slightly more common than one would like to think! Especially today with girls going through puberty earlier than in generations past. We still don't know why!

      • Kristen Howe profile image

        Kristen Howe 

        3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

        This was an interesting read with those human production facts and figures. I remember hearing on the radio, two decades ago, back in NJ,that a 10 or 12 year old girl was pregnant in Connecticut I believe. I don't know how she'd gotten pregnant, other than her parents raised the baby as their own. Voted up!

      • Theophanes profile imageAUTHOR

        Theophanes Avery 

        4 years ago from New England

        No problem, some of these stories are indeed a bit horrific, but they are what they are.

      • carrie Lee Night profile image

        Carrie Lee Night 

        4 years ago from Northeast United States

        Very interesting :). Loved the Subject matter. Can't believe the youngest was only five years old. Amazing, yet disturbing. Thank you for sharing.

      • Rebecca Furtado profile image

        Rebecca Furtado 

        4 years ago from Anderson, Indiana

        Very interesting hub. I enjoyed reading it.

      • profile image

        Elmo 

        4 years ago

        Just thought that I saw a family that I grew up with at 33 kids was a lot. Had to find out the record.

      • profile image

        greenhairedgirl 

        4 years ago

        i feel so sorry for the 5 yr old girl... :-(

      • Theophanes profile imageAUTHOR

        Theophanes Avery 

        5 years ago from New England

        Thank you all for the comments. @DzyMsLizzy - that is quite a tale! I wonder if it's at all confusing to the kiddies! Probably not - children seem to take things at face value. :)

        @Jeanne Southern: No one ever found out who the father of Lina's baby was. Sadly it was far more likely than not the result of an encounter with an adult than another early bird child. No charges were ever filed and the family, if they knew, never spoke of it.

      • profile image

        jeanne southern 

        5 years ago

        Had to read it twice thought my eyes were deceiving me, 5 yr old pregnant,how can that be possible,no mention of the father though now that is just not fair

      • Levertis Steele profile image

        Levertis Steele 

        5 years ago from Southern Clime

        Wow! I am nearly speechless @ 8-year old mother and grandmother. What a very interesting hub.

      • pstraubie48 profile image

        Patricia Scott 

        5 years ago from sunny Florida

        Pretty amazing, huh? Who would have believed it....a father at 100??

        It is always fascinating to me to read such information. thanks for sharing. Angels are on the way ps

      • DzyMsLizzy profile image

        Liz Elias 

        5 years ago from Oakley, CA

        Most interesting. I am reminded of a friend of mine who, some years back, became a grandmother for the first time at age 41, (not impossible or horribly abnormal in and of itselsf--but read on), when her second-eldest of 6 children became pregnant while in high school...(following her mother's footsteps)!

        Where it gets "interesting," is that she had 3 more children of her own after that, and one of her other daughters also produced a grandchild. Then, the youngest daughter married a man who was divorced and had 3 kids for a 'ready made' family--but they added 3 more children of their own.

        Next, my friend had still another child, and at that point, her own youngest was younger than any of her grandchildren! And THAT is the 'weirdest' thing I have ever come across.

        Your article, however, was interesting, and indeed disturbing in places--I feel very sorry for the 'record holders' who became mothers during their own very young childhoods. Voted up and interesting.

      • Stephanie Henkel profile image

        Stephanie Henkel 

        5 years ago from USA

        Very, very interesting! What a fascinating collection of facts about baby births, young and old parents and multiple births!

      • marion langley profile image

        marion langley 

        5 years ago from The Study

        Both fascinating and disturbing. On a note concerning longer than average pregnancy durations my mother and I both carry our babies a full 4 weeks late consistently and give birth to healthy weight girls we deliver naturally. My mother had three and so far I've had two. I am planning to be a mother all over again later in life but through adoption...cause pregnancy just isn't all that fun in my experience. :-) Thanks for writing!

      • Nyamache profile image

        Joshua Nyamache 

        6 years ago from Kenya

        There are things that disapprove scientists and leave us to believe in God. Human may fail to understand them like: World's Oldest Baby and Oldest Mother on Record.

      • profile image

        Kitty 

        6 years ago

        Thx so much for this! I really enjoyed it. :)

      • Theophanes profile imageAUTHOR

        Theophanes Avery 

        6 years ago from New England

        Most of the children bearing children records were broken at a time when little was thought of it or in a different cultural setting (a foreign country by a king for example.) As far as I know none ever faced prosecution by law. Today if any of these girls were pregnant in the United States or many other countries there would likely be outrage and investigation as there should be. In no way is this article an endorsement of pedophilia. My sympathy goes to any and all victims of sexual abuse.

      • profile image

        Spiritual love 

        6 years ago

        Did anyone get arrested for destoring these children. How sick is that. There will come a time when these men will stand before their maker and have to give an account for their actions. And that's when their body parts will testify against them unto God.

      • profile image

        Nic 

        6 years ago

        Shame,at least the little girl,who was 5 didn't have 2 raise her child as well.So sad that she had to go through so much at such a young age.And then what about the lady,who had 27 pregnancies-wow,totally mad,how on earth did she cope?Financially&emotionally&all the lack of sleep?I've only got 2 kids,but these 2 woman are amazing!x

      • profile image

        Loool 

        6 years ago

        I find it ironic that the most babies born to one women is "69" anyone else??

      • Theophanes profile imageAUTHOR

        Theophanes Avery 

        6 years ago from New England

        Sala: Most five year olds are WAY too young to conceive. When girls start to reach maturity their pituitary glands start releasing hormones like estrogen and others. These cause the girls to develop breasts and sometime after that they'll start to menstruate and be technically capable of conceiving. In this poor girl's case she either had a tumor pressing against the pituitary gland or something else went really off in her body and sent the signal to start releasing these adolescent hormones when she was only three years old. Basically the hormones made all her reproductive organs mature far faster than the rest of her body and her mind. Unfortunately since it was so long ago we'll probably never know what the exact medical problem was that she had, and since there's no known cases like this we can't even speculate particularly well.

      • profile image

        jacqueline 

        6 years ago

        Mum-Zi (gave birth at age 8) was member of Chief Akkiri's harem on the island of Calabar, Nigeria. Her daughter also gave birth extremely early, making Mum-Zi a grandmother at age 15!

      • profile image

        baby 

        6 years ago

        I'm only twelve and I really want to have a baby but I'm young and I think I'm.

      • profile image

        Sala 

        6 years ago

        I stil dont understand why a girl of 5years can conceive.pls explain the medical terms involved

      • profile image

        napajnibor 

        6 years ago

        Any answer for the elder with the most number living (how many times great) grandchildren at the end? Besides that, or any other Harem guy of course.

      • profile image

        6 years ago

        As far as we know no humans have lived past 122 on record... maybe you should investigate or into this 135 year old person, because it not completely impossible that she is that old.

      • profile image

        Shocked 

        6 years ago

        Wo pregnant at 5 that's to young!

      • profile image

        Jessie 

        6 years ago

        This is a really good website there's a lot of information

      • profile image

        Abdullahi usman 

        6 years ago

        Augusta is not the oldest great grand mama because i know a greatmama who is 135 years in Nigeria.

      • nick071438 profile image

        nick071438 

        6 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines

        This hub is educational. My knowledge about Peruvian Lina Medina increases. Take a look: http://www.webanswers.com/current-events/current-e...

      • profile image

        inquiringmind 

        6 years ago

        Kee, the reason why there aren't more five year old mothers has nothing to do with the laws in 1939. Even today, young girls are routinely raped throughout the entire world. Children don't have babies because they're not biologically able, NOT because they're not being sexually abused (which unfortunately, the laws can't stop).

        The fact is, Lina Medina had a baby because of an EXTREMELY RARE medical condition that other sexually abused children don't have. If all little girls hit puberty that frighteningly early, childhood pregnancies would skyrocket. It's sad, but true.

      • profile image

        lola 

        7 years ago

        that kinda sucks for the people to be so young

      • Inspiration88 profile image

        Inspiration88 

        7 years ago from this Galaxy

        Wow, funny, interesting and at times disturbing. LoL, the almighty strive for reproduction guides us! ;)

      • profile image

        Kee 

        7 years ago

        You did notice that it was in 1939 for the youngest mother, rite? I understand it's a horrible thought but the good people who created the laws to stop such horrible thing may not have been born.

      • profile image

        Reg 

        7 years ago

        The one thing I find most disturbing is the young age of girls having babies. Five and eight? Yet the youngest males (in the same catergories) are 12 and 28? There is no way a 5 year old consented to sex. This is why sex trafficking is becoming such a huge problem. It's so disgusting. Breaks my heart. :(

      • profile image

        snyln 

        8 years ago

        great info. amaizing what a human body can do.

      • profile image

        Kate 

        8 years ago

        ohH!!!

        exage??!!

      • profile image

        sjfox66 

        8 years ago

        Does anyone know the record for the most same sex births to one mother?

      • Theophanes profile imageAUTHOR

        Theophanes Avery 

        8 years ago from New England

        I don't know Matt but I suspect we'll have to wait for the kiddie golf tournaments in the next 5 or 10 years to find out. ;)

      • profile image

        Matt 

        8 years ago

        Very interesting!!! How many children does Tiger Woods have running around?

      • profile image

        jknee 

        9 years ago

        interesting!

      • DAlfor profile image

        DAlfor 

        9 years ago from Redmond, WA

        Props to you for a great hub!

      • profile image

        yapidude 

        9 years ago

        nice! nice! i've learned a lot!!

        tnx..

      • Gin Delloway profile image

        Gin Delloway 

        9 years ago

        I like your hub! nice! Thank you!!

      • profile image

        Amy 

        9 years ago

        Well done Theo!

      • robie2 profile image

        Roberta Kyle 

        9 years ago from Central New Jersey

        lots of interesting food for thought here--amazed at the variations that are possible with human reproduction.

      • Tom Cornett profile image

        Tom Cornett 

        9 years ago from Ohio

        Very cool Hub! Thanks!

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