A 42-year-old grandmother from the capital’s ultra-Orthodox Mea She’arim neighborhood gave birth to her 20th child – a boy – in a quick and natural birth at Hadassah-University Medical Center in Ein Kerem on Wednesday.
The mother of 20 declined to be give any personal details or to be photographed.
The maternity department staff were very excited when the woman told her it was her 19th delivery, and she previously had twins, said midwife Aliza Altmark.
“I always have to understand who is the woman who is my patient, as the relationship in the delivery room is very important. So I asked questions about her previous births, including the weights at delivery of her other children and whether she had any special requests. She was calm and relaxed.”
The midwife did not leave the delivery room. “In the early stages, she was surprised that birth did not progress as quickly as her previous births,” said Altmark.
“But I explained that each delivery was different and promised her that it would be all right.” Her labor sped up and within a few hours, a crying baby was heard in the delivery room. “She was very excited when we put him in her arms.”
While Hadassah has delivered women who have had many births before, obstetrics and gynecology head Prof. Simcha Yagel said he was not aware of an Israeli woman having 20 babies. In 2007, a woman had a baby in her 19th delivery at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, but official records were not available from the Health Ministry.
“The truth is that in the delivery room, it does not change the special attitude that the mother gets from the midwife.
She is there for her patient, to assist in the process so that the delivery, no matter what the number, will pass as a pleasant, safe and peaceful experience,” Yagel said.