Baby After 40!
Baby After 40!
Age is just a number! Hollywood’s “miracle” moms beat the odds
By Ericka Sóuter
Looking a decade younger on the red carpet isn’t the only way stars defy age. Mariah Carey, Kelly Preston and Celine Dion are all expecting babies after age 40 – when the odds of conceiving and delivering a healthy baby plummet. “At 40, there’s only a 10 percent chance of conception, and at 45, just 2 percent,” Alan B. Cooperman, director of reproductive endocrinology at L.A.’s Mount Sinai Medical Center tells Us. As Dion expecting twins, gushes to Us, “I am so fortunate.”
No kidding. The truth is, to conceive, many older moms undergo fertility treatments, and their age exposes them to risks such as preterm labor, dangerously high brood pressure and diabetes. “It’s costly and tough on your body,” Marcia Cross, who had twins at 44, has said.
Dion is one of the few celebs to openly discuss her in vitro procedures (six, at roughly $12,000 each), in which a fertilized egg is implanted into the womb. Another well-kept secret: With chances of birth defects increasing as eggs age, some opt to use donors. “Many [45-year-olds] are not using their own egg,” Halle Berry, who had daughter Nahla at 40, has said. “Nobody talks about that.”
For Berry, who has called motherhood “profound” and “the most important thing we do,” any struggle is worth it. But, she warns, “don’t look at celebrities who are doing it and think, Oh, it’s easy. It’s really not.”
MARIAH CAREY, 40
Bombarded with baby rumors since he wed Carey in 2008, Nick Cannon, 29, confided to Us in May: “I always said we’d have kids when thing slow down, and they’re starting to slow down.” Still in the early stages of pregnancy, “Nick and Mariah are being very secretive about it,” says a source close to the pair, who are probably aware of the risks they face. “They are thrilled though nervous about it, so they are not saying anything yet.”
CELINE DION, 42
After learning she was pregnant with twins, Dion told a Montreal newspaper: “There were truly great emotions after all our efforts.” Indeed, it has been a difficult year for the singer, who miscarried after one IVF, a risk that increases with age. “After 40, it is harder to get pregnant and to stay pregnant,” fertility expert Alan B Cooperman tells Us. Now 15 weeks along, Dion and husband René Angélil, 68, are excited to find out the sex of the babies later this month, “I have no regrets,” she tells Us.
KELLY PRESTON, 47
“She takes good care of herself,” Preston’s mom, Linda Carlson, tells Us. “She is in good health.” After announcing her pregnancy at age 47, Preston and husband John Travolta, 56, shot down rumors she was carrying twins but remained mum on whether she had used fertility treatments. No wonder there was speculation: Chances of having multiples goes up naturally after age 35, as well as from IVF.
Bringing Home Baby
Pregnancy isn’t the only means by which over-40 stars are expanding their broods. Sheryl Crow, 48, just adopted a second son Levi James, born April 30. “Sheryl loves being a mom,” says a pal of the singer, who brought home son Wyatt, 3, in 2007. “It’s made her a better person. Her life is very full now.” And when Sarah Jessica Parker, 45, had trouble conceiving, she and husband Matthew Broderick, 48, turned to a surrogate. “It’s a total blessing,” the actress, already mom to James, 7, tells Us of 11-month-old twins Marion and Tabitha. “We’re thrilled.”
- Births by U.S. women 40 to 44 are up 4 percent
- Twelve percent of fertility treatments on women 41 to 42 resulted in births
- About 11 percent of 41-year-olds trying IVF use their own eggs