“Everything went smoothly,” said a spokesman at Cochin hospital where the triplets were born overnight Saturday.
The woman, of Vietnamese origin, is thought to have resorted to a private Vietnamese clinic willing to overlook the age limit for egg donation and in vitro fertilisation (IVF), set at 45 in Vietnam, according to press reports.
Egg donations are authorised in France but most fertility clinics here set a maximum age limit of 42 for would-be mothers.
But nothing prevents couples from seeking fertility treatment abroad and in 2001 a 62-year-old Frenchwoman gave birth to a child conceived through IVF, in the Riviera town of Frejus.
Earlier this year, an Indian woman said to be 70 years old gave birth to twins after receiving IVF treatment.
The baby girl weighed in at 2.42 kilograms (5.34 pounds) as did one brother, while the second boy weighed 2.32 kilograms.
The birth of triplets by a mother in her late 50s was unprecedented in France and possibly a world first.
But the news raised eyebrows among French health professionals concerned that science was pushing the limits of motherhood too far.
“Having children at that age is dangerous in terms of child development,” said child psychiatrist Nicole Garret-Gloanec.
Women of child-bearing age are able to “draw the link between their own childhood and their baby,” she said.
This case raises questions as to “how you can help a child grow, in educational terms and development,” said Dominique Ratia-Armangol, president of the national association of early childhood psychologists.
She said a child born to an older woman can become confused about the role of grandmother and mother.
Garret-Gloanec suggested that the mother’s late-in-life desire to have children was “a denial of ageing and of death.”
“It’s unhealthy, to project onto children your own anxieties about death,” she said.