Julia did it. So did Salma. And Mariah did it double. But are older celebrity moms leading us astray about pregnancy after 40?
Mariah Carey, Julia Roberts, and Salma Hayek are but a few Hollywood moms who've had babies after their 40th birthdays. Good for them! But according to some fertility experts, headline-making celebrity pregnancies may be sending non-famous women the mistaken message that as long as you look young (which many celebrities do, and some thanks to Botox and plastic surgery), conceiving in your 40s can be just as easy as getting pregnant in your 20s or 30s.
"All women see is celebrities over 40 getting pregnant," says Shari Brasner, a New York OB-GYN in the recent New York Times piece, "Are You As Fertile As You Look?"
According to the Times, fueling the mixed messages about fertility are celebrity magazines that publish lists like the recent, "25 Stars Who Gave Birth After 40," which amounted to a who's who of baby-after-40 icons, from Brooke Shields to Madonna. The following week Jennifer Aniston (age 42 1/2) smiled out from the cover of a celebrity magazine with the headline "Trying for a Baby!"
What experts want to make clear is that when it comes to your fertility, looks can be deceiving. Modern women are increasingly dedicated to fitness, healthy eating, skin-care regimes, and (for some of us) plastic surgery—all things that help us look young long after, well, we are young. Yes, 40 is the new 30 on the outside—but on the inside? Looking young and feeling young just can't seem to stop the biological clock from ticking.
We're all for older moms having babies, but we're definitely not fans of faulty information about how easy it is to become pregnant once you hit your 40s. The simple fact is that, whether you're a celebrity or not, "as a woman ages, the number of eggs in her ovaries, as well as the quality of those eggs, declines," Dr. Zev Rosenwaks, director of the Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell and co-author of the fertility guide A Baby at Last!, tells the New York Times.