For years, many women worried about the so-called biological clock threatening reproductive functions. They were under constant pressure to be mothers earlier in life to avoid the dangers of childbearing at an older age.
But current statistics show a rise in women having children later, and there have been studies that show the benefits of later motherhood are increasing.
A March 2017 study published in the European Journal of Developmental Psychology showed children with older moms tend to fare better in life. The study showed that at the average age of 31, mothers tend to scold their children less and physically punish their children less as well. This resulted in well-behaved children with better social skills and emotional health. Physically, these children were likely to be taller and healthier too.
Some studies also suggest that children born to older parents are more likely to be better educated, as findings propose that they are more likely to attend college and perform better on standardized tests than siblings born earlier. Researchers pinpoint that this is due to an improvement in healthcare and education through the years, producing a more conducive environment for child rearing.
As for the physical aspect of later motherhood, Time reports that if a woman is healthy enough, there is less risk in a pregnancy. Dr. Rebecca Starck, chair of the department of regional obstetrics and gynecology at the Cleveland Clinic, remarks, “A healthy 40-year-old can have a much less risky pregnancy than a healthy 28-year old.” To ensure a successful pregnancy, women would need to prep their bodies by eating well, avoiding harmful behavior such as alcohol and drug intake, and gaining the proper amount of weight.
These famous women have all had children past the age of 35:
Streep has four children—a son and three daughters—two of which she gave birth to past the age of 35. She had Grace at 37 and Louisa at 42. Grace and her elder sister Mamie have both followed their mother’s footsteps into acting.
Kidman's first and only biological birth was to her daughter with Keith Urban, Sunday Rose, at the age of 41. Before that, she had adopted two children in her marriage to Tom Cruise, and her youngest daughter was a product of surrogacy. She’s experienced motherhood in so many ways, she tells CNN, “I suppose my maternal instincts and drive has always been there since I was little… and that’s a huge driving force of who I am… I am a mother because I love being a mother.”
At 51, famed photographer Annie Leibowitz had her first child, whom she named Sarah. She is also the mother of twin daughters, who were born with the help of a surrogate.
Popular for representing Nadia Murad and standing up for women’s rights, the renowned human rights lawyer is not a mother yet. But she announced earlier this year that at 39 years old, she is pregnant with fraternal twins. She is married to actor George Clooney.
The Oscar-nominated actress had her first child, Valentina, at the age of 40, which she thinks is more advantageous for both her and her daughter. “I’m a more fulfilled human being now, and I probably wouldn’t have been ten years ago,” she says in an interview, “She gets a better mother for being born now.” Hayek married Francois-Henri Pinault, and together they are one of the United Kingdom’s richest couples.
Dion had her twins, Eddy and
h/t: Town&Country U.S.