Women are increasingly smashing the myth that pregnancy and parenting are just for the youngest of us.
It’s true: Fertility starts to decline at age 30. But many women still have babies into their late 30s and 40s—and the celebs on this list prove that!
From Britney Spears to Janet Jackson, these women show that having a healthy pregnancy is possible at mature ages.
Keep reading to learn the stories of 14 pregnant celebs who broke the “geriatric pregnancy” stigma.
Fertility By Age: Women
Fertility by age for women declines as the years progress.
The peak fertility years for women are in their late teens to late 20s. Around age 30, fertility begins to decline. The decline becomes more rapid by around age 35. Once a woman reaches age 45, it’s unlikely she’ll get pregnant naturally.
If you’re curious about your odds of conceiving for each age, scroll through the scale on this age fertility calculator.
What is Geriatric Pregnancy and Advanced Maternal Age?
Today, the term “Geriatric Pregnancy” is rarely used because of the stigma associated with it. Geriatric pregnancy typically refers to women who give birth over the age of 35. The term means that special considerations should be taken when the mother is older than 35.
Medical professionals have shifted away from the term “geriatric pregnancy” and now use the phrase “advanced maternal age,” according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). The term is meant to reflect the increased risk of complications that come with pregnancy at advanced ages.
Most healthy people who give birth over age 35—and into their 40s—give birth to healthy babies.
With that being said, there’s an increased risk of complications as you age for a few reasons, such as eggs with chromosomal abnormalities.
Possible complications of advanced maternal age pregnancies include:
- Trouble conceiving
- Gestational diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Infants small for gestational age
- Cesarian (C-section)
It’s important to know that many women won’t experience these complications. You can help mitigate the increased risk with good prenatal care, such as regular prenatal appointments and communicating changes or concerns with your doctor.
14 Celebs Who Smashed the Geriatric Pregnancy Stigma
These pregnant celebs helped quash the sigma of “geriatric pregnancy.” The women on this list successfully conceived and gave birth to a healthy baby over the age of 35.
#1 Janet Jackson
Singer Janet Jackson gave birth to her first son in 2017 when she was 50.
At the time, her representative said it was a “stress-free, healthy delivery.”
On her son’s third birthday, she wrote, “Three years ago today God blessed me, at the age of 50, with the greatest gift of all. My baby!”
#2 Naomi Campbell
Model Naomi Campbell announced in 2021 that she gave birth to her first child at age 50.
“A beautiful little blessing has chosen me to be her mother. So honoured to have this gentle soul in my life there are no words to describe the lifelong bond that I now share with you my angel,” she wrote.
#3 Meghan Markle
Actress and Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle gave birth to her first baby, Archie, in 2019 when she was 37.
At the time, there was a lot of media focused on Meghan’s age. Even prior to her marriage, there was discussion about how her fertility was declining with age and how quickly she’d need to start trying. After successfully conceiving, the “geriatric pregnancy” narrative didn’t die down. Articles centered around the risks associated with advanced maternity age.
Meghan announced her second pregnancy in 2021 when she was 39. She gave birth to her daughter, Lilibet, who weighed 7 lbs, 11 oz.
Before getting pregnant, Megan spoke of her desire to balance career and family.
“I dreamt [of becoming] a successful working actress, which I can now very thankfully tick off the list. And I also dream to have a family,” she said during an interview with Lifestyle Magazine.
#4 Kate Middleton
While Meghan Markle had two advanced maternity age pregnancies, she’s not the only one in the royal family.
Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton gave birth to her third child when she was 36. Prince Louis was born in 2018.
After announcing they were expecting the third time, Prince William spoke about how busy things were at home with two small children and a baby on the way. He said Kate was suffering from “extreme” morning sickness.
#5 Chloë Sevigny
American Horror Story, star Chloë Sevigny, gave birth in 2020 when she was 45.
She gave birth during the coronavirus pandemic and thanked hospital workers for their “perseverance and kindness.”
#6 Eva Mendes
Actress Eva Mendes gave birth to her second child in 2020 at the age of 42.
She and boyfriend Ryan Gosling kept the pregnancy secret, surprising everyone with the good news.
#7 Jennifer Lopez
Singer Jennifer Lopez gave birth to twins in 2008 when she was 38.
J.Lo, who was married to Marc Anthony at the time, said her doctor recommended C-section since she was having twins. Jennifer originally felt bad that she didn’t have the same labor experience as everyone else. But after seeing her sister give birth naturally, she thought C-section was the right decision after all.
“There was a part of me [that] had thought, ‘I didn’t get to do it the way that everybody else does.’ But when I saw my sister pushing that baby out, I was like, ‘Maybe this was all right! Maybe this was a better out.’ So that was an experience,” she said.
#8 Rachel McAdams
Star of The Notebook Actress, Rachel McAdams, secretly gave birth to her first child when she was 39.
After keeping her pregnancy private, she shared that giving birth later was the right decision for her.
“[People say] your life is not your own anymore. But I had 39 years of me, I was sick of me. I was so happy to put the focus on some other person. I waited a long time [for motherhood],” she said.
Rachel is private about her family life and didn’t announce her second pregnancy. However, she was spotted by paparazzi with a pregnant belly in 2020 when she was 41.
#9 Mindy Kaling
Actress Mindy Kaling, star of The Mindy Project and The Office, had her second baby in 2020. The then 41-year-old gave birth to her baby boy Spencer.
Mindy kept her pregnancy private and announced she’d given birth during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
“I’m telling it for the first time now, it feels so strange. But I gave birth to a baby boy on September 3,” she said.
Mindy said her desire to be a working single mother was inspired by her own mother.
“I always knew I wanted to be a mom, but I would have put it off and put it off. I’m happy that it happened when it did,” she shared with Glamour Magazine.
#10 Alanis Morissette
Singer Alanis Morissette gave birth to her second child when she was 41. I
n 2019, she announced she was pregnant with her third child. She was 45 at the time.
“I always wanted to have three kids, and then I’ve had some challenges and some miscarriages so I just didn’t think it was possible,” she told Self magazine.
#11 Eva Longoria
Actress Eva Longoria, star of Desperate Housewives, gave birth to her son, Santiago, in 2018 when she was 43.
Eva shared why having a baby later was better for her family.
“Santi was meant to be with me at this stage,” she told Parents. “I’m more patient, and I don’t work as much—even though it doesn’t seem that way! It’s the right time.”
#12 Brooke Shields
Actress and model Brooke Shields has gone through many struggles when it comes to starting a family.
In her book, Down Came The Rain, she writes about her experience with IVF.
“The whole process was quite an ordeal, and we became slaves to the time of day and to little vials of liquid,” Brooke shares. “We’d find ourselves out at dinner with friends, and then we’d have to sneak off to a coat room, where we’d huddle over syringes and a travel-size cooler filled with small bottles of drugs.”
She shared her unsuccessful attempts and frustrations with everyone else getting pregnant but her. Eventually, she gave birth to her first daughter in 2003 when she was 38. She gave birth to her second daughter at age 41.
#13 Kirsten Dunst
Star of Spider-Man, actress Kristen Dunst, gave birth to her first child when she was 35. After hiding her second pregnancy in 2021, she announced she’d given birth at age 39.
In an interview with the New York Times, she spoke about her second baby, who she named James Robert.
“This is the newest guy, the Big Kahuna. He’s an angel, but he’s a hungry angel. And a heavy angel.”
#14 Britney Spears
For years, Britney Spears’ conservatorship didn’t allow her to have children. She was forced to have and keep an IUD inserted to prevent pregnancy.
After being freed from her conservatorship, Britney announced she was pregnant with her third child in 2022 at age 40.
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Summary: Pregnant Celebs Quashing Geriatric Pregnancy Stigmas
If you’re above age 35 and trying to get pregnant, draw some inspiration from the celebrities above. These women show that mature pregnancies are not only possible—they can be a better decision for some!
Many women on this list are thankful they became mothers at an older age when their lifestyle is more accommodating and they’ve learned more patience. If you get labeled a “geriatric pregnancy,” think of these women and how you can squash the stigma too!
P.S. Did you know you can listen to your baby’s heartbeat at home? Pocket fetal dopplers are easy to use and amplify the sound of your baby’s heartbeat while she’s still in the womb! Share the magical bonding experience with the whole family.