Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry has confirmed rumors she’s expecting a second child with fiancé and French actor Olivier Martinez. Berry has a 5-year-old daughter, Nahla Ariela, from a previous relationship with Canadian model Gabriel Aubry. According to TMZ, Berry is three months pregnant with a boy due October 2013.
Although Berry told People that her pregnancy “happened naturally” and was “the biggest surprise of her life”, the internet is buzzing with ethical and medical questions given Berry’s age—46.
According to Mayo clinic pregnancies over the age of 35 are medically considered “advanced maternal age” and increase a woman’s risk of clinically significant chromosome abnormalities to about 1 in 200–the Down syndrome risk is about 1 in 365.
In other words, the odds of having an absolutely normal baby would be about 99.34 percent.
Yet it seems the age of first motherhood is rising all over Western Europe. In countries like Italy, Germany, and Great Britain, it’s 30. In the U.S., it’s gone up to 25 from 21 since 1970, and in New York State, it’s even higher, at 27. But among the extremely middle-aged, births aren’t just inching up. They are booming. In 2008, about 8,000 babies were born to women 45 or older, more than double the number in 1997, according to the Centers for Disease Control
There are advocates for older moms. Dr. James E. Ferguson, M.D., president of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington says that,“If a woman gets pregnant later in life, the chances of her having a successful outcome are better than ever because doctors know more about what to look for. Many women aged 40 and older think the game is over when it’s not.”
What are your thoughts? Is age just a number?