We could be forgiven for thinking celebrities have secret access to the fountain of youth, and for some it seems that extends to their biological clocks too!
While for some stars, Like Halle Berry falling pregnant later in life is a surprise they weren’t expecting, for others, Like Celine Dion the battle to conceive intentionally is a little more difficult.
Because the reality is that women in their mid-40s only have a five per cent chance of conceiving naturally.
Tania Zaetta was 48 when she welcomed twins Alby and Kenzie thanks to an egg donor and IVF (Image: Instagram)
The reality of falling pregnant in your forties
A woman is born with all the eggs she will ever have. As she ages her eggs age with her and their number and quality reduces over time.
Women younger than 30 have about a 20 percent chance of getting pregnant naturally each month. By age 40, the chance of pregnancy is about five percent each month.
Some people may believe fertility treatment is the answer to pregnancy later in life but with age, treatments like IVF (in vitro fertilisation) and ICSI (Intracytoplasmic sperm injection) success also declines.
Using donor eggs or frozen embryos to try to conceive is another option.
Pregnancy itself can also be more challenging as you age and any pregnancy over age 40 is considered high risk. Your doctor will monitor you and your baby closely for the following:
- high blood pressure – this may increase your risk of a pregnancy complication called preeclampsia
- gestational diabetes
- birth defects, such as Down sydrome
- low birth weight
- ectopic pregnancy, which sometimes happens with IVF
If you are in your forties and wanting to conceive, it might be challening but it’s definitely possible! Just check out the stars who made it happen in the gallery below …
Australian singer Natalie Imbruglia had her first child at age 44.
The Torn singer welcomed her son, Max in October, 2019 with the help of IVF and a sperm donor.
Natalie says becoming a mother made her feel complete.
“Looking back I had lovely friends, had been married, a beautiful home and a career that I was proud of.
“But I’d long been at the point where I knew something was missing and that thing became something I yearned for above everything else.”
Milla Jovovich welcomed baby number three with film writer and director husband, Paul Anderson when she was 44 years old.
The Zoolander star welcomed a little girl, Osian Lark Elliot Jovovich-Anderson in February, 2020
Osian joins big sisters Ever, 11, and Dashiel, four.
At age 41, radio star Fifi Box announced that she was expecting her second child.
The single mum shared that it was IVF and a donor that helped make this happen for her.
At the time she was already sharing 5-year-old daughter, Trixie Belle with Aussie ironman champ, Grant Kenny.
She welcomed sweet little Daisy Belle in June, 2019.
Home and Away legend, Emily Symons became a mum for the first time at age 45 when she welcomed her son, Henry.
Emily spoke candidly about her “miracle pregnancy” at the time, admitting that she had gone through a few rounds of IVF before becoming pregnant.
Alyssa Milano shares two children with agent husband, David Bugliari.
The pair welcomed a son named Milo Thomas Bugliari when Alyssa was 38 and she was 41 when she welcomed her daughter, Elizabeth Dylan Bugliari.
The Who Dares Wins star gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl named Alby and Kenzie when she was 48.
After looking at all the options out there on giving birth in her late forties, she and partner Chris Rogers decided to use donor eggs.
They were thrilled when it worked for the first time with IVF.
“I had tears of joy rolling down my face, and when the 12-week scan showed a second heartbeat, it was absolutely incredible,” she told Woman’s Day.
Tina gave birth to her second daughter, Penelope, at 41 years old.
Tina, who was already a mum to daughter, Alice explained her trepidation about having another baby in her memoir Bossypants, writing:
“Science shows that fertility and movie offers drop off steeply for women after 40.”
Janet Jackson was 50 when she announced her pregnancy with then husband Wissam Al Mana.
The pop star has neither confirmed, nor denied whether she used IVF to conceive her son, Eissa.
The Pulp Fiction actress welcomed Maya in 1998 and Levon in 2002, but her third child, Luna, was born in 2012 when Thurman was 42.
“The shop is closed,” she told Us Weekly in April 2018. “I have three healthy, beautiful children. Touch wood.”
The Voice US judge and her then husband, Gavin Rossdale, welcomed their third child together. Apollo, their “miracle baby,” when Gwen was 44.
Famously private about her children, what we do know is that Eva Mendes was 40 when she gave birth to her first daughter with Ryan Gosling, Esmeralda, and 42 when she welcomed her second, Amada.
“Really, I’m so incredibly tired,” Eva said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show the first time around.
“I thought I was tired before at times, but no. Nothing like this, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
While the 45-year-old actress hasn’t yet publicly confirmed the news, she was photographed last month in New York showing off her burgeoning baby bump. Chloe is reportedly five months into her pregnancy with her partner Sinisa Mackovic, who is the director of a New York City art gallery.
After multiple failed cycles of IVF, Celine Dion gave birth to twin boys, Eddy and Nelson when she was 42 years old.
On trying to conceive in her 40s, Celine told Good Morning America she wasn’t ready to give up. “It’s priceless,” she said. “So, you know what? We had a miscarriage. We tried [IVF] three more times. It did not work. … We are trying again for the fifth try. It’s aboard right now. All aboard.”
Stylist to the stars, Rachel Zoe was 42 years old when she announced that she and husband Rodger Berman were pregnant with their second child, Kaius.
Salma Hayek gave birth to daughter, Valentina, when she was 41 years old.
“I thought I was going to need help getting pregnant, and I didn’t,” she confessed in an interview with WebMD.
“I’m a more fulfilled human being now,” she said. “And I probably wouldn’t have been 10 years ago. She gets a better mother for being born now.”
At age 44 Christie Brinkley gave birth to her third child, daughter Sailor Lee after going through IVF.
The supermodel revealed her pregnancy struggles in a 1998 interview with Good Housekeeping. “After the first miscarriage, I tried to take the attitude that it was my body’s way of telling me that this pregnancy wasn’t meant to be,” she explained. “But after the second one, it was really devastating. Four months is a lot of living with that little life in you—thinking about it, eating right for it, nurturing it and all of a sudden, it dies.
“After the second one, we decided to try in vitro, because we couldn’t handle another failure.”
Already a mum to Eva Amurri who she had in 1985, with then-boyfriend, Italian filmmaker Franco Amurri, Susan Sarandon went on to have more children later on.
Her sons Jack and Miles, with then-partner Tim Robbins, were born when she was 42 and 45, respectively.
She seems to age like Benjamin Button, and proved age was no big deal anyway when she welcomed her first child, Nahla at age 41, then gave birth to her younger son Maceo when she was 47.
Speaking with Ellen DeGeneres, the Bond Girl revealed that her second pregnancy in her late 40s (which she explained to be a “geriatric pregnancy”), was a total surprise. “I was, you know, on my way…this is probably way TMI, but I was really, you know, kinda premenopausal so to have this happen was a huge [shock].”
This Aussie superstar is a mother of two boys, Sasha and Kai, whom she had at 39 and 40, respectively, although hindsight has her wishing she started earlier.
Naomi Watts told People that she wished she and then partner Liev Schreiber had more children. “I should have had more kids, started younger.”
The Biggest Loser trainer, Michelle Bridges welcomed her first child, son Axel with then partner Steve ‘Commando’ Willis when she was 44.
Michelle has previously opened up about the abuse she received when she became a mum.
“When it did happen I was 43. I got a lot of heat for [becoming pregnant]. A lot of heat. And it was such a kick in the guts for me because I was so excited,” she told WHO magazine editor Keshnee Kemp on the Raw Talks podcast.
“I thought ‘So what? I can’t talk about it because I’m an older mother and I fell pregnant naturally?’
“They’d say I was irresponsible for having a child at 44 naturally. I was like ‘Hello! I’m not sixteen! I’m not a teen! I wanted to have a baby late and it just happened that way.
“It was a beat up. It wasn’t as though I was going out saying ‘You should have a baby at 44!’”
Following her marriage to country music singer Keith Urban in 2006, Nicole Kidman gave birth their daughter Sunday Rose at age 41.
Mother of four Meryl Streep gave birth to her fourth child Louisa at age 42.
The actress always set time aside for her children and even gave up the opportunity to star with Goldie Hawn in Thelma and Louise to have children. The roles were then offered to Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis.
Madonna not only gave birth in her 40s, but continued to grow her family by adopting.
When Madge was 42 she gave birth to her son Rocco. In May 2008 the adoption was finalised for David Banda Mwale and just over a year later in June 2009 Madonna adopted daughter Mercy James.
At 42-years-old Kim Basinger gave birth to her and Alec Baldwin’s daughter Ireland Eliesse “Addie” Baldwin.
Julianne Moore had her first child son, Caleb at age 37 followed by daughter, Liv Helen at age 42. The actress says she now spends her time focusing on her two children and says she picks roles in movies that film in the summer so her family can go along.
Brooke Shields gave birth to her second child Grier Hammond when she was 41. Her first daughter Rowan Frances was born three years earlier.
At age 46 Geena Davis gave birth to her first daughter Alizeh Keshvar with husband Reza Jarrahy.
Two years later the couple had non-identical twin boys Kian William Jarrahy and Kaiis Steven Jarrahy.