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Gotta love a pregnancy myth, right? Sweets will hurt the baby! Eating a whole pineapple will make you give birth! That half glass of wine you just drank in your third trimester means you’re a terrible mom! Don’t exercise! Stay away from coffee! But one of the biggest and potentially most harmful pregnancy myths is the idea that all mid-life pregnancies — you know, like all those celebs getting pregnant after age 40 (gasp!) — are extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. But, spoiler: That just isn’t true.
While yes, there are added risks — according to the March of Dimes, being pregnant after age 35 makes certain complications more likely — the truth is that later-in-life pregnancies are really no big deal. And hey, even getting pregnant after 50 isn’t impossible. Plenty of parents are conceiving well into their fifth decade — and those healthy, happy kids are pretty lucky to have parents who have careers, experience and their shit together in general. Plus, even pop culture is starting to catch up, with a new slew of TV shows and movies starring older-mom characters.
The fabulous celebrities ahead are proof positive that you can be smart, chic, pregnant and over 40 all at once. Yep, it’s true. So the next time some relative of yours starts blathering on with unwanted advice about your biological clock or “advanced maternal age,” take heart — and remind them how well it all worked out for Janet Jackson.
A version of this story was originally published in January 2016.
Rachel Weisz gave birth to her second child and first daughter at the age of 48 in 2018. She and husband Daniel Craig are notoriously private about their lives, especially their daughter, but during pregnancy Weisz couldn’t help but show her excitement, telling US Weekly, “I’ll be showing soon. Daniel and I are so happy. We’re going to have a little human. We can’t wait to meet him or her. It’s all such a mystery.”
Weisz also has a 13-year-old son, Henry Aronofky, with director Darren Aronofsky.
While Savannah Guthrie always wanted to be a mom, the Today show anchor wasn’t sure parenthood was in the cards. Earlier this year, Guthrie told People she thought “it was too late” for her and hubby, Michael Feldman. “[I thought] we’d lost our chance.” But Guthrie became pregnant with their first child at 42 and gave birth to their second when she was 45.
Fellow anchor Tamron Hall welcomed her first child, Moses, in April 2019. The journalist and Today show host was 48.
After undergoing several IVF treatments, actor and model Brigitte Nielsen proudly gave birth to her fifth child in the summer of 2018. She was 54 years young!
Helen Hunt was 40 when she gave birth to her daughter, Makena Lei, seven years after giving birth to her son. “It turned out to be tougher to get pregnant than I thought,” Hunt told Ladies Home Journal.
Meryl Streep has four children — Henry, Mamie, Grace and Louisa — and the youngest, Louisa, was born in 1991, days before Streep’s 42nd birthday.
Everyone’s favorite Material Girl, Madonna, has four adopted children and two biological children whom she gave birth to at 39 and 42.
While Naomi Watts loves her boys, Sasha and Kai, Watts regrets not starting a family sooner. The actress told People that she and then-partner Liev Schreiber wanted more children. “I should have had more kids, started younger.”
Janet Jackson gave birth to her first child, a son named Eissa, in early 2017 at the age of 50. And, in classic Jackson fashion, she’s looking more amazing than ever.
Susan Sarandon had her daughter Eva Amurri at 39 and her sons Jack Henry Robbins and Miles Robbins at 42 and 45, respectively.
Rachel Zoe was 42 when she gave birth to her second child in 2013.
During the pregnancy, Zoe said she totally lost her taste for sweets. “[I feel] lucky, but also I feel kind of gypped,” she joked to People. “What happened?”
Kelly Preston gave birth to her third child, Benjamin, in 2010 when she was 48 years old.
“We had been trying for quite a few years, and then of course there was a time when we weren’t, and then we started trying again. When I found out I was pregnant, I was floored,” Preston said of her last pregnancy. “I’d snuck out of bed and then came back and woke Johnny up in bed. We both started crying. It was wonderful.”
Mariah Carey gave birth to her twins, Monroe and Moroccan Cannon, at 42.
“Santa Claus comes every year and real reindeer are there, of course, as well,” Carey said in 2015 of her very-non-low-key family traditions with the kids. “Too many traditions to name!”
When Gwen Stefani announced she was pregnant with her third baby at 43, fans were certainly surprised. But Stefani seemingly breezed through her third pregnancy and gave birth to sweet baby Apollo on Feb. 28, 2014, when she was 44.
Céline Dion didn’t just give birth to one baby at 42 years old; she gave birth to two. Dion and her late husband René Angélil welcomed twins Eddy and Nelson in 2010 after six treatments of in vitro fertilization.
The perennially ageless Julianne Moore gave birth to her daughter (and mini-me) Liv in 2002 when she was 41.
“You want to do it again and again and again,” Moore raved after her second pregnancy.
At 42 years young, Uma Thurman gave birth to her third child, Luna Thurman-Busson, with beau Arpad Busson.
Eva Mendes broke hearts when it was revealed she was expecting a baby — because it meant Ryan Gosling was officially off the market. At 40, Mendes gave birth to baby Esmeralda in 2014 and had her and Gosling’s second daughter, Amada, in 2016 (when Mendes was 42).
Funny lady Maya Rudolph welcomed her fourth child with husband Paul Thomas Anderson in 2013 at 40 years old. Rudolph joked on Ellen that she vowed to never have a child again when she was pregnant with her third. “It’s amazing how we forget,” she laughed.
Salma Hayek gave birth to her first and only child, daughter Valentina, when she was 41. “I had my child so late in life, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to,” Hayek told People. “It was such an important thing to me.”
Jennifer Connelly welcomed her third baby, Agnes Lark, with husband Paul Bettany in May of 2011 when she was 40 years old. The actor reportedly gave birth in the comfort of her home in a birthing pool.
30 Rock and The Incredible Kimmy Schmidt actor Jane Krakowski gave birth to her first child, Bennett Robert Godley, in 2011; she was 42. After the birth, Krakowski said, “Bennett is an amazing, healthy sweet boy and we are both just crazy in love with him.”
Jane Krakowski wasn’t the only 30 Rock star to give birth beyond her 30s. Tina Fey welcomed her second child, Penelope Athena, when she was 40 years old. The actor said she “agonized” over whether to have a second child — but, obviously, she decided to go for it.
Outspoken breastfeeding mama Alyssa Milano, who gave birth to her second child, Elizabella, when she was 40 in 2014, is so happy she waited to become a mom. She also gave birth to son Milo in 2011. “I loved waiting a long time to be a mom,” she revealed. “I’d had my ladies’ lunches and my shopping days. When Milo finally came, I thought, ‘This is what I’ve waited for my entire life.’”
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban welcomed their daughter, Sunday Rose, in 2008 when Kidman was 41. Kidman has two adopted children with her ex Tom Cruise, but Sunday Rose was her first pregnancy. Kidman and Urban welcomed another daughter, Margaret, two years later via surrogacy.
Halle Berry surprised the world when she revealed she was pregnant at age 46.
Berry, who welcomed son Maceo in 2013, told Ellen DeGeneres, “I mean, I didn’t think it was possible to have another baby, and I thought for sure I had a need never to get married again. So, I’ve learned never to say never.”
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