Over 40 and want a baby? Think again WOMEN

Over 40 and want a baby? Think again | Life | Toronto Sun
2013-09-11 4:57 PM
Over 40 and want a baby? Think again
Women over 40 rockin' Hollywood
IMAGE: 1 OF 10
Here's a selection of photos of women over 40 that are still making
waves in Hollywood.
Sporting baby bumps is the latest Hollywood trend for older moms. Halle Berry is five months pregnant and will be 47
when she gives birth in October. Mira Sorvino delivered daughter Lucia last year at age 44 and Kelly Preston was 48 when
she had her third child.
They’re in their forties, fabulous and part of a mommy boom group. But while adoring fans embrace celebrity bumps, late
motherhood can be a bumpy road for the average older mom. According to Angel LaLiberte, there are a record number of
women having children after age 40, yet there’s a negative cultural bias that leads to isolation.
She’s a midlife mom who’s felt the sting of the social stigma – and she’s not alone. “For the last five years, we’ve heard
from thousands of women who feel socially marginalized by mommy groups simply due to their age,” says LaLiberte,
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Over 40 and want a baby? Think again | Life | Toronto Sun
2013-09-11 4:57 PM
founder of AChildAfter40.com. LaLiberte is “midwife” to the launch of support groups across North America to help
connect like-minded moms. The 52-year-old mother of two, Leo, 10, and Isabella, 7, wants everyone to celebrate the birth
of a new era of later motherhood. Celebrities like Gina Davis, Kelly Preston and Susan Sarandon have helped to generate
more public acceptance of later motherhood, she says. “This is especially important as women having children after 40
have consistently come under fire for being selfish…
“We still uphold an idealized cultural stereotype of the ‘young mother’ and the idea of a woman ‘old enough to be a
grandma’ having a baby is an image many people are still just not comfortable with,” says LaLiberte, adding that there are
even fridge magnets and coffee mugs with the derisive slogan: “OMG! I forgot to have children!”
She draws attention to the glaring double standard in our culture. “Male celebrities such as Elton John, Paul McCartney,
Larry King, have all been congratulated heartily for becoming dads after the age of 60. Yet, research has shown that men
have ‘biological clocks’ too. Sperm from older men - over age 40 - carries serious risks to offspring, including autism,
bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.”
Meanwhile, according to LaLiberte, it is a common occurrence for 40+ moms to be mistaken for “the grandma” in the
playground or at the pre-school. “They tend to start off feeling isolated, or like outsiders. They can even feel excluded or
slighted from other groups of mothers.”
Forty-plus moms are still a minority in the challenging world of young “mommy cliques,” so support is crucial. “All
mothers know that parenting is a challenging job. We get through it by supporting each other. There is a real and growing
demand to bring mothers over 40 together to meet those needs,” she says.
Social isolation can be common, says Dr. Ari Brown, a pediatrician and author of Baby 411. “Because these moms are
you have
baby friends
over 40?
theira other
have kids who are in middle school or high school and have already been there and done that.
Their friends don’t want to hang out in a playgroup with kids in diapers and lament how to handle temper tantrums - they
want to go out for happy hour or a girls’ night – because their children are at a different stage of their lives.”
Yes, of course
Lots of women are having babies after 40, says Brown, adding that “in the late 1960s when my mom had me at age 35, she
was a trailblazer.” Brown advises finding support online: “Seek out new peer groups of moms - at drop in preschool,
mom’s day out, library story times, etc. You can still keep your old girlfriends, but find some new ones who share the
Probably not
If that was my time then yes
challenges you are going through at the moment.”
I'd adopt
psychologist Dr. Wendy Walsh who was almost 42 when she had her youngest, says most of her mom peers at
the elementary school are in their late 40s. Her children are now 9 and 14. “If people feel marginalized, it may be because
No, toothey
haven’t found the right peer group or because they have an internalized perception that they are old,” adds Walsh.
moms who welcomed children after 40:
View Results
Halle Berry
Mariah Carey
Uma Thurman
Salma Hayek
Geena Davis
Nicole Kidman
Celine Dion
Jane Seymour
Kelly Preston
Marcia Cross
Susan Sarandon
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Over 40 and want a baby? Think again | Life | Toronto Sun
2013-09-11 4:57 PM
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