What is the longest someone has been pregnant for? Asked by Fiona West
The current record of the longest ever successful pregnancy goes to Beulah Hunter and her daughter Penny from Los Angeles. While a normal human pregnancy lasts for around 266 days, Mrs Hunter’s pregnancy in 1945 lasted for 375 days – a whopping 109 days overdue. Dr. Daniel Beltz of the Los Angeles Methodist Hospital, who treated Mrs Beulah, confirmed the date when she first tested positive and the date of birth. He was quoted as saying that the excessively long pregnancy was due to unusually slow development of the foetus. The baby was described as of healthy weight when born, had a normal development and went on to lead a healthy life. Bear in mind that, as with all records of a medical kind, the validity of this claim is questionable. Some argue that it could be two separate pregnancies adding up to a longer time period. The first could have miscarried and then been directly followed by a second successful pregnancy. Another idea is that the date for the start of the pregnancy could be wrong. The date was taken from the missed period prior to testing positive, but this could be due to a spontaneously missed period and a false positive test. In 1945, the pregnancy test involved injecting the pregnant woman’s urine into a mouse and observing any hormone-related changes. While this was an effective test, it is less accurate than today’s test and could conceivably have falsely come up positive. If she then got pregnant in the following few weeks, it would appear that the baby had an exceptionally long gestational period. However, this is all speculation and we will probably never know the exact length of the pregnancy. While that pregnancy was long, it isn’t the longest time between conception itself and birth. In May 2003, a boy and a girl were born 13 years after being conceived. In late 1990, a couple from Jerusalem, who had infertility issues, had embryos cryogenically frozen for use at a later date. Twelve whole years later, these embryos were implanted in the mother and she gave birth to a boy and a girl, weighing 5 pounds each.