updated 6/16/2005 7:01:35 PM ET 2005-06-16T23:01:35

An Alabama woman who gave birth to a baby girl after undergoing the first ovary transplant in the United States tried to treat the pregnancy as if it had happened normally, one of her doctors said Thursday.

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Stephanie Yarber, 25, gave birth Monday night to a 7 pound, 15 ounce girl named Anna, making her the first woman ever to give birth after an ovarian tissue transplant from another person, doctors said.

Her identical twin sister, Melanie Morgan, donated the ovarian tissue that made Yarber fertile.

“She tried to treat it as a normal, regular pregnancy, and we tried to do the same,”’ Dr. L. Braden Richmond said Thursday on CBS’ “The Early Show.” “Certainly in the back of our minds we knew that it was certainly special, and that there was a lot at stake for them, but her pregnancy went great, her labor went great.”

Dr. Sherman Silber, an infertility specialist in St. Louis, performed the transplant in April 2004, and Yarber became pregnant only five months later. He said Yarber was “absolutely the first” woman to have a child after getting ovarian tissue from someone else.

Morgan, who has three daughters, called the successful procedure a “partnership with God, my sister and me.”

The child was born at a hospital in Russelville, about 20 miles northwest of Montgomery.

'A wild thing to do'
“We were very aggressive early in the pregnancy in trying to reassure her that everything was fine,” Richmond said. “We did a lot of lab work. This is ground breaking, this is new frontier, but once everything kind of settled into normal, her pregnancy went great.”

Yarber became menopausal at age 14 and was unable to become pregnant without medical help. She had tried in vitro fertilization twice, using eggs donated by her sister, but nothing worked until the ovary transplant.

“It’s seemed like a wild thing to do, but after 40 years of animal research, it did exactly what we expected,” Silver said.

In an interview after the transplant last year, Yarber said she and her sister “are very close.”

“It takes a special person, but that’s Melanie,” Yarber said. “She didn’t hesitate when I asked her about it.”

Silber said he has since performed the transplant surgery on two other sets of identical twins. He said he believes more infertile women will now seek out the procedure.

In Belgium, a woman had a baby in September after receiving a transplant of her own ovarian tissue. Seven years earlier, doctors had removed and froze healthy ovarian tissue before the woman was made infertile by chemotherapy. They transplanted the tissue back into her body when she was cleared of cancer.

And more than a year ago, surgeons in China reported a successful whole ovary transplant between sisters.

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