Red carpets of recent years have been adorned with middle aged celebrities sporting baby bumps under their ball gowns. Although the likes of Nicole Kidman have made having babies after 40 appear effortless, doctors warn that these images may be giving women false hope.



For some women, it just makes sense to be an older mother. Sometimes, the right relationship doesn’t come along until later in life, as in the case of Hilary Swank.

Swank announced that she was expecting twins last year aged 48 after 4 years of marriage to the man of her dreams. She revealed to Us Weekly that she was “so excited” to be starting a family, continuing that “It’s a total miracle. It’s unbelievable”. Later, she expressed gratitude that she had waited for “things to align” in a candid interview with ExtraTv.

It’s no small feat to carry a baby at nearly 50. Swank acknowledged the troubles that many pregnant women (especially older women) experience, commenting on The Late Late Show that she feels “women are superheroes…I have such, like, a whole newfound respect”. Like Swank, many older celebrities turned mothers champion the view that motherhood is timeless.

Even so, choosing to have babies after 40 comes with risks and there can be a long, hard road to successful conception. As an older mother, you’re more likely to experience birth complications, miscarriage and problems such as high blood pressure. What’s more, the babies of older mothers are more prone to birth defects. It comes as no surprise, however, that the most widespread hardship of hopeful older mothers is infertility; it is highly unlikely for women over 45 to get pregnant naturally.

Despite the swathes of stars having babies after 40, many have remained vocal and honest about their fertility struggles, opening up a wider conversation of female empowerment and sisterhood in Hollywood. One such celebrity is Gabrielle Union, 50, who revealed in her tell- all book We’re Going to Need More Wine that she had “eight or nine miscarriages” when trying to conceive with her husband at 44. She described her body as “a prisoner of trying to get pregnant” for years, adding that during her 40s she had either been “about to go into an IVF cycle, in the middle of an IVF cycle, or coming out of an IVF cycle”.

On top of Union’s battle with IVF, she shared that she was diagnosed with adenomyosis in 2018, a condition most prominent in women aged 40-50. Adenomyosis causes abnormalities in endometrial tissue in the womb, which can impact fertility.

The risks associated with pregnancy later in life for both mother and baby have led many stars to consider and use surrogates. Celebrities including Nicole Kidman, 56, and Sarah Jessica Parker, 58 have opted and advocated for surrogacy. Perhaps the most well-known instance of a celebrity using surrogates is Kim Kardashian, in choosing to have her daughter Chicago and son Psalm via surrogate.

Kardashian, 42, has never shied away from disclosing the myriad of complications she has suffered as a result of birthing her first two children, sharing that she has a condition called “placenta accreta” in an interview with C Magazine. This serious condition is most common in women over 35 and is thought to promote abnormal implantation, infertility and miscarriage. Nonetheless, Kardashian remains grateful for her experiences of both pregnancy and surrogacy, describing surrogacy as ‘the best experience’ in an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

Though it is clear that having babies after 40 has its risks, there are many older celebrity mothers who are happy, healthy and willing to speak frankly about the trials they have faced in a bid to encourage women to make their own choices, whilst erring on the side of caution.

It’s good to be realistic about what your body can handle, but that’s not to say that being an older mother is impossible or any less fulfilling.

Are you in your 40s and trying to get pregnant? Whether you're considering getting pregnant using your own egg, donor eggs or a surrogate, the good news is that trying to find a fertility clinic in London that meets your needs should be straight-forward. There is more choice than ever before when it comes to choosing a fertility doctor that is a good fit for you.

Tagged in