Celine Dion’s Pregnant—is 40 the new 30 of Motherhood?

Photo by Mcflyler, via Flickr (CC)

After several unsuccessful attempts at in vitro, Celine Dion, 42, has announced that she’s 14 weeks pregnant with twins. Earlier this month 47-year-old Kelly Preston also announced a pregnancy, as did Claudia Schiffer, 39, in January. This is lovely and wonderful for all of the expecting parents, but experts are quick to point out how rare this kind of pregnancy can be, despite the flurry of media attention.

On CBS’s the Early Show this morning, Dr. Jennifer Ashton put things into perspective:

“When you look at … all cycles using non-frozen embryos, the success rate approaches about 30 percent,” Ashton says. “Now, that is heavily dependent on age. The older you get, whether you’re using your own egg or not, the success rate of a live birth goes down. Again, just because we’re seeing it in the 40s does not mean it’s easy.”

In Canada, the most recent numbers put the average age of first-time mothers at 29.3. But latest available data (from 2007) showcased that, of 367,864 births registered, about 50% of those moms were aged 30 to 44, 17% of the moms were aged 35 to 44, and 505 live births were to mothers between the ages of 45 and 49. For one third of the 45+ moms, it was their first live birth.

In just a decade in Canada, the number of first-time mothers over 45 has gone from 0.4 births per 1,000 to 1 per 1,000: a significant increase in a short period of time, largely attributed to improvements in fertility treatments.

What do you think? How much does the mother’s age matter to you when it comes to pregnancy and parenting?

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