June 6, 2023

These women had babies well into their 40s.  Here's how.  (Image: Designed by Quinn Lemmers)

These women had babies well into their 40s. Here’s how. (Image: Designed by Quinn Lemmers)

Hollywood is seeing a baby boom among older mothers. Hilary Swank just gave birth to her first children – twins – at the age of 48, while Da Brat, who just turned 49, announced that she and wife Jessica Dupart are expecting their first child together. The rapper tagged the Atlanta fertility clinic in her pregnancy announcement, thanking it “for helping us on our journey.”

Celebrity moms giving birth in their mid to late 40s is nothing new to Hollywood — Rachel Weisz gave birth to her second child in 2018 at age 48, and Laura Linney had her first child in 2014 at age 49. But there is a growing trend of older mothers in the US in general. Data released last year from the Census Bureau showed that fertility rates are falling for younger women and rising for their older counterparts. Although the government agency did not share figures above 44 years old, the data shows that fertility rates increased rapidly among women in the 40 to 44 age group. In 1990, the fertility rate in this group was about 5.6%; in 2019 it was almost 13%. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the fertility rate increased nearly 4% between 1990 and 2019 in women ages 45 to 54.

It’s not common for women to have babies in their mid to late 40s, Dr. Jamie Grifo, director of NYU Langone Fertility Center and division director of reproductive endocrinology and infertility in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, tells Yahoo Life. “Even with reproductive assistance, it’s very slim to get pregnant after age 45 — this is because the number and quality of those eggs is very low,” he says. Women who want to conceive in their mid-40s may be encouraged to consider egg donation, he says.

It’s also important to know that “the risk of miscarriage increases with increasing age,” reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Asima Ahmad, chief medical officer and co-founder of Carrot Fertility, told Yahoo Life. So is the risk of complications during pregnancy. “Women in their mid to late 40s who become pregnant are at greater risk for complications during pregnancy, such as hypertension, gestational diabetes, poor fetal growth and operative delivery,” Dr. Ann Korkidakis, a clinical fellow of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Boston IVF, says.

But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to have a healthy pregnancy in your mid-40s and beyond, says Dr. Alex Robles, a fertility expert at Columbia University Fertility Center, told Yahoo Life. “It’s possible to have a healthy pregnancy in this age group, but it’s important to follow closely with an OB/GYN provider and possibly even a high-risk obstetrician,” he says. “It’s best to make sure any pre-existing medical conditions are adequately controlled before trying to conceive.”

It’s not just celebrities who have babies in their mid to late forties. Yahoo Life spoke to several women who did it. Here are their stories.

“I thought it was perimenopause.”

Brittany Richardson gave birth to her first child, son Easton, in 2016 at the age of 45. when it happens, it happens. If not, life goes onshe tells Yahoo Life. “I have two adult stepchildren. I didn’t get pregnant and eventually went back on the [birth control] pill.”

But during a routine checkup when she was 44, Richardson’s doctor said she would probably want to stop using birth control at some point. That was in January. “In February, I was pregnant,” she says. Richardson says she was “not feeling” at the time and had sore breasts. She took a pregnancy test that was negative. “I thought it was perimenopause,” she says. But when she was still “bad” a month later, she took another pregnancy test just to be sure. It was positive.

Richardson says the pregnancy was “a shock” for her and her husband, Sean, but they were delighted with the new development. “I always expected in my life to have kids — I didn’t meet the right man until later,” she says. “This pregnancy was truly a miracle and I loved every minute of it.”

Richardson is now 51 and says she and her husband have been asked more than a few times if they are their son’s grandparents. “If you say ‘no, we’re the parents,’ they’re shocked. It’s kind of funny,” she says. “You just learn to deal with it.”

Richardson says she is “very thankful” for her son, adding, “my life is exponentially richer because we have him.” She is also aware that her experience as an older mother is different from that of women who had children at a younger age.

“For us in our 50s, when Easton goes to bed, we go to bed,” she says. “We like to be active with him. If he runs, we run. If he wants to kick a ball, we kick a ball. We know we have shorter days with him – we want to make the most of our time.” time together.”

“Life happened like this and I found myself wanting to have a child.”

Leah Kinsella tells Yahoo Life that she felt “disbelief and joy” when she found out she was expecting her first child at age 44. the procedure), she ended up pregnant without assisted reproduction.

“I didn’t wait on purpose,” she says. “Life happened like this and I found myself wanting to have a child.”

While Kinsella says her pregnancy experience was “beautiful,” she admits she felt some anxiety and fear about the outcome. “Meditating has helped a lot,” she says, noting that her son is now 2 years old.

“As with anything, timing is very personal,” she says. “There are advantages to my age, because I know myself very well and I have done a lot of personal work, so I have a good command of my language and emotions.” Kinsella says she doesn’t feel like she’s missing out either.

“I’ve had a wild period in my life and being more stable now feels more appropriate than ever,” she says. “I am fully committed and I accept the responsibility of having a child with less conflict than I would have in my twenties.”

“The fear that was put in me almost made me not even try, and I’m so glad I did.”

Comedian Jessica Delfino tells Yahoo Life that she was “finally ready” to have her first child at age 40 and her second at age 46. everything would probably be horrible and tragic,” she says. “I know it’s like that for some people, so I can’t take that for granted.”

Delfino consulted a fertility clinic at one point, but was told she would not be considered for reproductive assistance unless she considered using an egg donor. “The fear that was put into me almost made me not even try [to conceive]and I’m so glad I did,” she says.

Delfino says she spent three years trying to conceive her second child. “I was able to get pregnant without scientific reproductive help, although I changed my diet to include a lot more vegetables and water, exercise more to make sure I got 30 to 45 minutes a day, and tracked my cycles very carefully,” says she. . “We also did a babymoon and I think it worked — the dates are lined up.”

Delfino says she was “very happy when I found out I was pregnant”, adding that “everything went as it should”. Her second child was born last July.

“A father at our kids’ school joked, ‘You’re going to give birth to your third baby and then you’re going straight into menopause.'”

“I didn’t decide to be an older mom. It’s just how life played out,” mother-of-three Anna Vlachos tells Yahoo Life. Vlachos had her first child when she was 41, the second when she was 43 and the third when she was 46.

“I was very career-driven and I didn’t meet my husband until I was in my mid-thirties,” she says. “We had the discussion about having kids and we hoped my age wouldn’t be an issue. Luckily I got pregnant pretty quickly – about two months after we got married. I didn’t think it would happen so soon.”

Vlachos says all of her pregnancies were classified as “geriatric” because of her age, and her third child was a surprise. “I was 45 when I got pregnant and I admit I was a little shocked,” she says. But the pregnancy went well and Vlachos says her youngest child is “that extra layer of love that makes our family complete.”

Vlachos says she received some unwanted comments during her third pregnancy. “I’d get high-pitched peeps from, What? Not really!‘ she says. ‘Then I’d be inundated with a barrage of questions – what about risks? Is your baby okay? What does your doctor say? I got these comments from strangers, friends and even family members.”

Vlachos says some of the comments were hurtful: “I remember a father at our kids’ school joking, ‘You’re going to give birth to your third baby and then you’re going straight into menopause.’ It felt like a punch in the stomach.”

Now Vlachos says some people “still find it hard to believe that I gave birth to all my children in my 40s.” But, she adds, “I wouldn’t change a thing.”

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