Frieda Birnbaum became a mother for the fourth and fifth time on Tuesday. Along with the joy of being a new mother, she has the added bonus of becoming the oldest woman in the United States to give birth to twins. The babies were born at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, New Jersey, delivered by C-section by Dr. Abdulla Al-Khan. Both babies weighed 4 pounds, 11 ounces, with the first baby heavier by only .4 ounces.

Birnbaum is a psychologist married for 38 years to Ken Birnbaum, a Manhattan attorney. The two have three other children, a 6-year-old son, a 29-year-old daughter and a 33-year-old son. Like their six-year-old, Ari, the twins, were conceived using in-vitro fertilization after being unsuccessful in conceiving naturally in New York. They traveled to South Africa which specializes in in-vitro fertilization for older women. In the United States, the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology recommends that only women under 50 years old should use a donor egg for IVF and only women under 44 should use their own eggs. Doctors were concerned about what effects a pregnancy would have on a 60-year-old woman’s body and what vital organs it would affect. Luckily, Birnbaum appears to be fine as do her children who started bottle feeding on Wednesday and no longer require oxygen. While Birnbaum has claimed the title of being the country’s oldest woman to deliver twins, the world record goes to Maria del Carmen Bousada Lara of Spain, who gave birth to twin boys on December 29, 2006, a week before she turned 67.

Birnbaum’s conscious decision to have more children at her age has both the public and her older children questioning her decision. Her oldest son is concerned that she won’t have time to spend with his future children, and her daughter believes she should be retired in Florida soon if not already. However, Birnbaum maintains that she decided to have more children because she wanted her young son to have siblings close to his age and because she wanted to make a statement about older women who want to have children, hoping that the more often it is seen and done, the less criticism that these women will face. The most concerning question, however, is how long she will be able to care for her twins and what would happen if their parents suddenly began to suffer from the effects of old age. Birnbaum claims that her parents both lived long lives and she

plans to as well, believing that you’re only as old as you feel, and she feels much younger than 60.

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